Business owner found murdered during welfare check at Corona business – Homeless felon arrested

CORONA, Calif., — Authorities say a check the welfare of a business owner at a Corona warehouse led to a murder investigation and the arrest of a homeless felon Friday afternoon, June 17.

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City of Corona police officers were dispatched to the business, located in the 1950 block of Compton Avenue near E. 20th Street, around 1 p.m., Corona Police Corporal Tobias Kouroubacalis has since said of the murder investigation and subsequent arrest.

When officers arrived and entered the business’s warehouse, they found a 41-year-old woman deceased with visible traumatic injuries to her body. The victim’s name has not yet been released.

James Billingsley, a 24-year-old homeless felon, was arrested after a woman was found murdered inside a Corona warehouse last Friday afternoon. Corona Police Department photo

After establishing a crime scene and interviewing area business owners and other potential witnesses, officers learned that a homeless man, since identified as 24-year-old James Billingsley, was known to the victim and known to frequent the business where the murder occurred, according to Kouroubacalis.

Officers were unable to locate Billingsley at the time and a general broadcast of Billingsley was issued to other officers assigned to the area.

About two hours later, shortly after 2 p.m., an officer assigned to Corona PD’s Post-Release Accountability & Compliance Team (P.A.C.T.) spotted a person matching Billingsley’s description less than a mile away from the crime scene and attempted to contact the man.

Billingsley immediately fled from the approaching officer, but after a short foot pursuit the officer managed to apprehend him in the 1200 block of E. Ontario Avenue, explained Kouroubacalis.

After interviewing Billingsley, detectives arrested him and he was later booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside on suspicion of murder and violation of parole.

Online jail records indicate his bail was set at $1 million; however, he remains in custody without bail due to a California Department of Correction’s parole hold.

Corona PD’s investigation is active and ongoing and a motive for the murder has yet to be determined.

Detectives have asked that anyone with information regarding this incident to contact Detective Lisa Larios at (951) 279-3662 or at [email protected]. Those desiring to remain anonymous are encouraged to contact the department’s Tip Line at (951) 817-5837.

Contact the writer: [email protected]

Trevor Montgomery, 51, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and operates Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS). Both are stringer organizations, providing breaking news coverage and community interest stories for other mainstream media organizations throughout the two regions they serve.

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.