VICTIM ALIVE, BUT SHE REMAINS IN BURN UNIT:
A Livingston woman bound at the hands and feet and burned Wednesday remained in "grave" condition Friday night at a San Jose hospital, a Merced County sheriff's spokesman said. Rosa Alicia Avina, 27, suffered second- and third-degree burns on 95 percent of her body after kidnappers tied her up, placed a bag over her head and drove her to South Avenue in the Ballico area, between Pepper Street and Ballico Avenue. They placed her inside an abandoned boat near a burn pile, doused her with a flammable liquid and set her on fire, sheriff's officials said. Avina was in a burn unit Friday night at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. Detectives on Friday did not release any new details about the case. Spokesman deputy Paul Barile said 18 sheriff's detectives were working on the case around-the-clock, rotating in shifts and meeting in the morning for briefings. Livingston Police Chief Bill Eldridge said he knew of Avina because she washed cars at the police station as one of the conditions of a recent court sentence. Eldridge said Avina was easy to talk to and the last time he spoke with her was Tuesday. "I asked her how she was doing and she said she was doing real well," Eldridge said. "We never had a problem with her. But she seemed to be an individual that had a lot of home problems and kind of struggling in life."