Garden Grove Man Charged With Attempted Rape, Murder of 68-Year-Old Woman

A Garden Grove man was charged with attempted rape and murder of a 68-year-old woman, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

Michael Varela, 30, is seen in a photo released by the Garden Grove Police Department on Sept. 13, 2017.

Michael Varela, 30, is seen in a photo released by the Garden Grove Police Department on Sept. 13, 2017.

Michael Varela, 30, allegedly attacked the victim outside a home in Garden Grove while she was on a walk on Sept. 10. He allegedly assaulted her and tried to rape her, officials said.

A witness called authorities and Varela was arrested at the scene. The victim was taken to hospital, where she died 11 days later.

Varela was initially charged with attempted murder and assault with attempt to rape, but he is now facing a special circumstance of murder during the commission of attempted rape. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 13. He faces life without the possibility of parole if convicted.