A woman has been arrested in connection to the deadly shooting of her teenage sister and newborn niece, according to the Fresno Police Department.
During a press conference on Thursday, Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama announced that 22-year-old Yarelly Solorio-Rivera was arrested Wednesday night for the deaths of her sister, 18-year-old Yanelly Solorio-Rivera, and three-week-old niece, Celine.
Investigators said Yarelly’s boyfriend, 26-year-old Martin Arroyo-Morales, has also been arrested in connection to the homicides.
“We can now say with complete certainty that we have those responsible for this homicide in custody,” said Balderrama.
Balderrama said he believes the deadly shooting was fueled by jealousy and sibling rivalry.
Around 7:20 a.m. on September 24, investigators said the mother and daughter were found dead from gunshot wounds inside their bedroom.
Officers responded to the home near Fruit and Church avenues after Yanelly’s family members called 911 to report hearing gunshots inside the room.
While investigating, detectives said they learned a previously unidentified suspect had shot Yanelly while she was in bed and holding Celine before fleeing the home.
In the month following the shooting, officials said they weren’t able to find any solid leads to help identify the suspects, but had suspicions that Yarelly and Morales were possibly involved.
On November 3, authorities announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to the suspect involved in the shooting.
Three days later, investigators released a video of who they believed to be a suspect walking in the area near the home where the shooting happened.
Officials said they were able to identify Morales as the man seen in the video.
“That is when the lies, the deception, and evil intentions surrounding this case began to unravel,” said Balderrama.
During interrogations, Balderrama said the couple confessed to the crime and led investigators to the location of the gun that was used in the shooting.
“The last few days, they were detained,” said Chief Balderrama. “They were interviewed by homicide detectives, and at which time they confessed to the crime, and led detectives to the whereabouts of the murder weapon.”
The weapon was a 9-millimeter Smith and Wesson handgun. Authorities would not say who fired the gun or where it was found, but on Sunday investigators searched a field near where they initially believed the suspects fled.
Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp says the horrific nature of the murders made this case personal for police.
“There’s nothing that tugs at the hearts and souls of people who wear badges than the death of young people. But when there’s babies involved, it hits nerves and those of us involved in this business. We don’t sleep. We don’t rest,” she said.
Yarelly and Morales have both been booked into the Fresno County Jail on suspicion of homicide. The couple’s bail is set at $2 million each. Officials anticipate they will be arraigned in the Fresno County Superior Court early next week.