IMPERIAL – An Imperial fire on 312 Chisholm Trail where one person was killed January 17, was determined to be a homicide, said Imperial County Sheriff’s office.
According to Imperial City Manager Stefan Chatwin, the fatal Chisholm Trail fire is now being investigated as a homicide. Chatwin made the announcement Thursday morning during a joint press conference at the city council chamber, with Imperial Mayor James Tucker, Imperial Police Chief Miguel Colon, Imperial County Fire Chief Tony Rouhotas, Imperial County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief George Moreno, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Resident Agent Chad Key present.
“The fire was suspicious in nature which led to the involvement of multiple agencies including surrounding cities fire personnel, law enforcement and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives,” said Chatwin. “It was evident that additional investigative steps needed to be taken.”
The structure, a single-family home had one person in the home at the time of the fire.
According to Chatwin, the body was recovered in the master bedroom and was later identified as 36-year-old Yunique Puckett Dorame.
“The Imperial County Sherriff’s Office-Coroner Division conducted the autopsy and a preliminary inspection of the victim revealed the cause of death and ruled it as a homicide,”explained Chatwin. “We cannot comment on the cause of death, nor the condition of the remains due to the ongoing investigation.”
Further investigation determined the victim’s car, a 2002 Black Nissan Altima, four-door sedan; license plates 7UKD877 had been stolen. The car was recovered on Wednesday, January 18, in Brawley.
“All I can say is that the vehicle was found in the City of Brawley,” said Miguel Colon, chief of Imperial police. “I am not going to give the specific location because this is still an ongoing investigation. I can tell you that the vehicle is secured in the law enforcement facility and we are securing search warrants.”
Chatwin went on to say the evidence obtained, possible suspects, and or witnesses would not be released at the time.
“To all those affected by this tragic loss, we offer our deepest condolences,” said Chatwin. “You are in our thoughts and in our prayers during this very difficult time. We’ll take every measure available to us to seek justice for the victim and her loved ones.”
Authorities are asking anyone that has any information regarding this case please contact the Imperial Police Department at (760) 355-1158.
“We are asking that public to keep their eyes opened and if they have any information to contact the Imperial Police Department,” said Chatwin.