SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — Los Angeles County authorities said a 21-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder, and family members identified the victim as a college student missing for two days.

Sheriff’s deputies responded Sunday to reports of a man not breathing at a home in Santa Clarita, according to Deputy Guillermina Saldana.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene and investigators believe he was strangled, Saldana said.

Detectives arrested Christian Ortiz and held him in lieu of $1 million bail, she said Monday. The deputy didn’t know if he has an attorney.

Officials did not immediately identify the victim but relatives told reporters he’s Brayan Rodriguez, a student at University of California, San Diego.

The 20-year-old from Valencia was reported missing Friday. His family and friends spent much of the weekend searching for him across the Santa Clarita Valley north of Los Angeles.

Investigators did not identify a possible motive or say what the relationship was between victim and suspect. But during the search, Ortiz described himself to the Santa Clarita Signal newspaper as Rodriguez’s boyfriend of three months.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.