Oakland police said on Friday that two suspects have been arrested after a burned body discovered near a park the day before was found to be that of an Alameda County sheriff's volunteer, who was reported missing earlier in the week.
Officers responding to reports of an unresponsive person found Karla Ramirez-Segoviano's body in a creek at the Arroyo Viejo Recreation Center in East Oakland just before noon on Thursday, according to police.
Lt. Roland Holmgren said the upper part of the San Leandro woman's body was burned, making it difficult to identify her. The 21-year-old also suffered blunt force trauma and multiple stab wounds, he said.
Ramirez-Segoviano's wounds were "consistent with somebody lighting something on fire," Holmgren said, adding that investigators believe the woman was killed in the same place where she was found — on the 7700 block of Krause Avenue.
According to Sgt. JD Nelson with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, the coroner identified Ramirez-Segoviano around 2 p.m. Friday with the help of a fingerprint, but even that was "very difficult because of the burns she had received."
Ramirez-Segoviano was friends with one of the suspects and police believe the crime was prompted by a "personal matter," Holmgren said.
"Whenever you decide to inflict harm on somebody" by entering "that person’s close, personal space and actually having to utilize a knife and push it through … that person's skin, that is very personal," he said.
The police department hasn't yet released any additional information about Ramirez-Segoviano's cause of death, a motive or the suspects' names. Police are sure, however, that they have arrested the right people — a man and woman from Oakland — and are not looking for any outstanding suspects. Ramirez-Segoviano was believed to have been friends with the woman, but her relationship to the man is unknown.
“I am confident we have the right persons in custody," Holmgren said.
The Sheriff's Office filed a missing persons report for Ramirez-Segoviano on Wednesday. She was part of the department's Explorer Program, but was aged out when she turned 21 and was mentoring young participants, Nelson said. Her friends and co-workers at the sheriff's officer said on Friday that they were in a state of disbelief over her sudden death
"She has worked in many different areas and they're good kids," Nelson said.
Ramirez-Segoviano had last been seen at about 10 p.m. when she dropped off a friend on 136th Avenue in San Leandro. Deputies located her vehicle at about 12:30 a.m. Thursday near Happyland Avenue and West A Street in Hayward, near Interstate Highway 880, but she has no known friends in that area, according to the sheriff's office.
Holmgren said it appears that Ramirez-Segoviano was a "sweet" woman, who was part of a "close-knit family." Her family was concerned about her being out late on Wednesday, he said.
Sheriff's deputy Ray Kelly said also that Ramirez-Segoviano was "part of the team" and described her as "a nice young lady."
On Friday, Ramirez-Segoviano's grief-stricken family and friends organized a rosary service in her honor. The victim's sister Liz Ramirez said the entire family is devastated, while her parents remembered that their daughter had dreamed of one day becoming a police officer.
Ramirez-Segoviano's parents asked for privacy and also made a public plea for people to come forward with information.
Investigators will be forwarding the case to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office for review and charging, police said.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Oakland Police Department Homicide Division at (510) 238-3821 or the tip line at 510-238-7950.
NBC Bay Area's Cheryl Hurd and Bay City News contributed to this report.