LANCASTER, Calif. () — A Lancaster man has been charged with murder and arson in the death of a woman whose stabbed and burned body was found in a car at the suspect’s home.
And we are now learning disturbing new details about the allegations against Matthew Switalski, 37, who made his first appearance in court on Tuesday.
Switalski is accused of killing 27-year-old Veronica Aguilar, whose body was found in the trunk of a burned car after firefighters extinguished a fire at the suspect’s home on Dec. 20.
Prosecutors revealed in court Tuesday that Aguilar was found with multiple stab wounds to her neck and chest, in addition to severe burns on her face.
They also say Switalski was seen leaving the burning home in a truck that had a trailer attached. He was eventually tracked down to a campsite at Lake Isabella in Kern County, where he was discovered to be carrying $25,000 in cash. Investigators believe he had emptied a bank account that he shared with his father.
Aguilar, a school teacher and UCLA graduate, was believed to be Switalski’s girlfriend.
Authorities accuse Switalski of murdering Aguilar while he was free on bond after being arrested in connection with an unrelated sexual assault case.
Switalski was initially being held on $10 million bail but the judge on Tuesday revoked bail.
He did not enter a plea Tuesday as his arraignment was continued to next month.
Hours before the fire, neighbors reported hearing a “bloodcurdling scream” in the direction of the suspect’s home, and then later they heard the sounds of an explosion shortly before seeing the flames.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office says he was charged Tuesday with one count of murder and one count of arson of an inhabited structure or property.
Aguilar’s family has started a GoFundMe account to raise money for her funeral.
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