SAN MARCOS – Progress is being made in the mysterious murder of a mom and the flaming vehicle
found with her son in it. It all began before sundown when Escondido Police Department Officers
responded to the report of a vehicle on fire with a man inside on the 1800 block of Foothill View Place.
Officers arrived shortly after 6:30 PM on 06/08/2021, along with Escondido Fire personnel – to first,
rescue the man inside the vehicle engulfed in flames. Next, an immediate transport to a local area
hospital’s burn ward resulted in the announcement that the man’s condition was grave.
Circumstances gave officers and deputies reason to believe that a visit to a related residence was in
order. The law enforcement group entered the residence for a welfare check of the woman who lives
The news was not good at the City of San Marcos residence on the 800 block of El Toro Lane. The
woman was found deceased inside.
“The Sheriff’s Homicide Unit responded and has assumed responsibility of the investigation,” announced
San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant Thomas Seiver. “There are no suspects believed to
Homicide Investigators continued their quest to solve the mysterious death and the auto found aflame.
Shortly thereafter, a second bulletin announced that results of the Medical Examiner’s autopsy identified
the woman found dead in her residence as Denise Elaine McCarthy (68).
Her family had been notified of her passing. Also shared, was the preliminary cause of her death: blunt
force trauma, with the manner of death – homicide.
Additional news included identification of the male rescued from the burning car. He is Denise’s son –
Sean McCarthy (29) – who remains in hospital, in grave condition.
An ongoing homicide-investigation bulletin update revealed this week that a suspect is under arrest.
Homicide Detectives identified “Sean Devin McCarthy (29) as the suspect in the June murder of his
mother, Denise McCarthy,” said Lt. Seiver. “Sean survived his injuries.”
Details of his arrest on the evening of August 19, 2021 included one count of 187(a) PC – Murder. Sean
McCarthy remains in the local burn-ward hospital, under Sheriff’s guard, until he can be booked into jail.
Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department
Homicide Unit at (858) 285-6330/or after hours at (858) 565-5200. To remain anonymous – call Crime
Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.