Crime

Visalia man arrested in death of common-law wife

VISALIA -- Police arrested a Visalia man Monday morning after he reportedly called to tell officers he fatally stabbed his common-law wife during a domestic dispute.

Officials said Rodolfo Martinez, 45, called Visalia police about 8:30 a.m. to report that he killed his wife, 44-year-old Avelina Parreira, at their apartment in the 2800 block of South Lovers Lane.

Martinez told officials he was in front of the Police Department headquarters in downtown Visalia, where officers arrested him. Officers who responded to the couple's residence found Parreira dead.

The couple apparently had been in the process of separating when they got into a dispute Monday morning, Sgt. Allyn Wightman said. Parreira was the manager of the apartment complex where she died.

Martinez was booked into Tulare County Jail on suspicion of homicide and is being held without bail.

Those who lived at The Villas along Lovers Lane near K Road said Parreira had been the manager at the complex since it opened about a year ago. They described Parreira as a quiet woman who cared about her tenants.

"I knew that they were breaking up and everything, but I didn't know he would do something like this," said The Villas resident Leticia Crabbe, who also knew Parreira when she managed another apartment complex.

Crabbe said Parreira recently told her that she had asked Martinez to leave.

Those who lived next to Parreira's apartment said they didn't hear any sounds of a confrontation Monday morning. They said the couple's apartment was generally quiet.

"She was so sweet," said Susan Arakaki, who lives nearby.

Jami Bond said she generally considered the complex safe, but she was re-evaluating whether she and her family would stay there.

"She was a nice lady, she always made you feel welcome," Bond said.

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