MERCED - A woman who was bound, gagged, and burned alive died over the weekend, Merced County Sheriff’s investigators said Monday.
Rosa Alicia Avina, 27, of Livingston died at 10 p.m. Friday at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose. She had suffered from second- and third-degree burns over 95 percent of her body, according to sheriff's spokesman Paul Barile.
Sheriff Mark Pazin said his department had waited until Monday to announce the death in consideration of Avina’s family. “No family deserves to go through this,” Pazin said. “Those persons that were involved need to be brought to justice."
Pazin did not elaborate on any suspects in the case, although he said the department’s Major Crimes Unit has served warrants and searched residences in Turlock, Delhi and Livingston.
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“With these search warrants came numerous interviews in the hopes of linking suspects with this crime, in this absolute abhorrent and barbaric case,” he said.
Investigators believe the suspects tied Avina at her hands and feet, placed a bag over her head and sometime during the early morning hours Wednesday drove her to South Avenue in the Ballico area, between Pepper Street and Ballico Avenue.
The suspects then placed Avina inside an abandoned boat near a burn pile, doused her with a flammable liquid and set her on fire.
Hours later, Avina walked nearly a mile to the intersection of South and Ballico avenues and collapsed on a farm, where workers found her.