Man Accused of Strangling Wife and Dropping her Body off at Police Headquarters to Stand Trial
SAN DIEGO — A Spring Valley man believed to have murdered his wife and then to drive her body to the police was ordered Thursday to stand trial on a murder charge.
On September 24, Americus De Orenday, 44, was arrested in connection with the death of Mirella De Orenday, 40 who was his estranged wife. The woman’s teenage daughter from another relationship had reported her missing on the evening of Sept 21 after the estranged couple had met and then disappeared.
De Orenday’s body was found on the floorboard behind the driver’s seat of a yellow Ford F-150 pickup belonging to Americus De Orenday. The vehicle was parked on 14th Street near Broadway outside of police headquarters. De Orenday flagged down officers who discovered the woman in the truck with a blanket partially covering her body. There were cuts running up the left side of her clothing. There was also a hose was taped to the exhaust pipe and inserted in the back window of the truck’s cab.
According to the prosecutor De Orenday was seen entering a Wal-Mart in National City the night of her disappearance, where he purchased a garden hose. This hose was found extending out of the exhaust pipe of De Orenday’s vehicle into a back window of the truck’s cab, leading police to believe the suspect might have planned to commit suicide, but had a change of heart. Approximately five hours later, De Orenday showed up at police headquarters. An autopsy determined that the woman had been strangled.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Louis Hanoian determined that a prosecutor presented enough evidence at the Thursday hearing for the case to go to trial. The defendant faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
ABC10: Man ordered to stand trial in wife’s strangling death