More than three years after a man mysteriously vanished from his home in Saugus, authorities have arrested his nephew on suspicion of murder, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced Tuesday.
Daniel Cierzan, 24, was taken into custody last Friday in connection with his uncle’s disappearance and death, a sheriff’s news release stated.
He’s been charged with one count of murder, according to the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office.
The nephew is accused of killing William Cierzan at the victim’s home on Jan. 26, 2017 — the same day the 58-year-old man was reporting missing — and allegedly disposing of the body, prosecutors said.
The victim’s remains have not been found.
Days after the victim vanished, relatives recalled that he had spent the day at home with his nephew; the pair watched golf that afternoon.
William was alone inside the house and making dinner around 4 p.m. when his wife, Linda Cierzan, talked to him by phone. It was the last time they spoke, she told reporters at a news conference on Feb. 1, 2017.
When Linda returned home at 7 p.m., dinner was on the stove but her husband was gone. He had left his keys and wallet, and his car was still parked on the property, she said.
Later that night, when there was still no sign of William, Linda reported him missing to officials at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
Detectives found apparent blood stains while searching the residence, but it was unclear how much blood was discovered and whether it was William’s, officials previously said.
Surveillance video uncovered during the investigation also showed a car pulling up to the residence about an hour after Linda last spoke with her husband, according to The Santa Clarita Valley Signal. At the time, investigators said they thought the car possibly belonged to Cierzan’s nephew.
The nephew — whose name had not been released then — gave a statement to authorities, but he wasn’t considered a suspect, officials said back in 2017.
It’s unclear what evidence led to the arrest of Daniel Cierzan. Authorities also have not provided a possible motive in the case.
Daniel faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted on the charge, according to prosecutors. His arraignment was continued to Sept. 25.