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Man arrested in teen's death

Investigators suspect boyfriend strangled 18-year-old elementary school volunteer

Posted: August 10, 2009 9:14 p.m.
Updated: August 11, 2009 8:06 a.m.
Sheriff's detectives arrested a 22-year-old man suspected of killing his 18-year-old girlfriend after she was found strangled in the bedroom of her Canyon Country home late Sunday.

Edwin Ortiz, 22, flagged down a California Highway Patrol car about 10 p.m. Sunday and told officers his girlfriend was dead, sheriff's Lt. Dave Coleman said.

Officers discovered the body of Guadalupe Chaman in the mobile home she shared with her mother in the 18500 block of Soledad Canyon Road.

Detectives arrested Ortiz after interviewing witnesses and relatives, but the investigation was ongoing Monday, Coleman said.

"He hasn't admitted that he's done it," Coleman said. "He was distraught at the time when he contacted the CHP. Then, in the course of the investigation, investigators believed he is responsible for the murder."

Chaman's relatives told The Signal on Monday her boyfriend rarely spoke with them, but they often heard him shouting profanities in her bedroom.

Some said Chaman had complained he hit her, pulled her hair and would explode if he caught her talking to another man.
Others, however, said the two seemed close and affectionate.

The victim's mother, Maria Esther Ramirez, said Chaman was a serious student who had volunteered at Canyon Springs Community Elementary School and wanted eventually to work with kindergarten-age kids.

"The teachers told me everything," Ramirez said. "She's a good girl."

Her father, Francisco Javier Chaman, described his daughter as a happy and loud girl. He said while he had seen her and her boyfriend argue once before, it was only a verbal dispute.

Chaman lived with her parents in a mobile home park near the intersection of Sierra Highway and Soledad Canyon Road.

In her home on Monday, several teary-eyed relatives tried to comfort one another. A DVD documenting Chaman's quinceanera rested on the dining room table, covered with a photograph of the smiling then-15-year-old wearing a tiara and a white dress.

Signal photographer Francisca Rivas contributed to this report.


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