Escondido police officers mourn death of Officer Perez
Escondido Police Officer Laura Perez was murdered by her husband last week in a violent attack in which he hid the body and burned down their family home.
July 30, 2014The first police officer in the history of Escondido to die a violent death on duty or off duty is Officer Laura Perez, who was hired by the department this past October and graduated at the top of her class in December. Last Wednesday, the 25-year-old Officer Perez per authorities was fatally shot in her home by her husband.
Escondido Police Chief Craig Carter said in a press conference last week: "It's satire for us. As Chief, this is the worst job I've ever had to do, talking to her mother and 4-year-old daughter. The fact that it was somebody that she knew bothers me most."
He commented on Officer Perez's diligence and her developing leadership skills.
Escondido Police Chief Craig Carter spoke last Friday in regards to the loss of Officer Laura Perez, the first Escondido police officer ever lost to a violent act.
"She was a fantastic officer," he said.
One of 15 female officers on the Escondido force, she was also one of 13 officers who were bilingual certified translators. Chief Carter, as a sign of respect for his fallen officer, said the departments annual "Rookie of the Year" award will be renamed in her honor.
Perez was born in Mexico and she and her mother came to the U.S. in 1994. She attended Riverside Polytechnic High School where she met her husband.
Carter stated that Perez did not show up for a department meeting on Wednesday, her day off. Later that evening, the Murrieta policed called the Escondido Police Department and notified them that her house was on fire. Chief Carter stated that he nor his department were aware of any problems in Officers Perez's life, and that she was, " a proud person" and very likely never said anything to anyone for help.
"Had the department known, we certainly would have reached out to her," Carter said. "The sad part for me is, we couldn't be there in her time of need."
According to the Murrieta police, her husband, Freddy Perez-Roda, 27, has admitted to shooting his wife in a domestic violence incidence at their Murrieta home this past Wednesday. He then hid her body in a Moreno Valley storage facility. He returned to their home and set it on fire to cover up the murder. He plead not guilty on Friday on the charges of murder, arson, and use of a firearm according to the Riverside District Attorney's Office. Bail has been set at $2 million dollars.
Services for Perez will be held sometime next week in Riverside. The Escondido Police Officers Association has established a bank account #1613334562 for Perez's daughter and donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank. She is currently in need of a bed and linens, clothing, toys, and others items because everything was destroyed in the fire. Donations can also be dropped of at the Escondido Police Department at 1163 N. Centre City Parkway. Checks can be mailed to PO Box 1309 in Escondido and made out to EPOA, with Perez's name on the memo portion of the check.
Carter stated that a scam has been set up on a fraudulent online donations accounts. Carter said Riverside and San Diego counties district attorneys will prosecute anyone trying to scam donors in her name to the fullest extent of the law. The only authorized donation accounts are those through the Escondido Police Department or the Escondido Police Union.