ANAHEIM, Calif. – A second man was being held Wednesday in connection with a series of attacks that killed a father and daughter and left the girl's mother badly beaten.
Vitaliy Krasnoperov, 21, of Los Angeles, was arrested June 14 in Chandler, Ariz., on a fugitive warrant, authorities said. He was being held in Arizona without bail and was expected to be extradited to California this week.
Authorities believe Krasnoperov is a friend of Iftekhar Murtaza, the on-again, off-again boyfriend of the college student whose family was attacked.
According to Murtaza's arrest warrant, he was angry at Shayona Dhanak's devoutly Hindu parents and sister after they pushed her to end their three-year relationship because they did not want her dating a Muslim.
Murtaza's attorney, Jeremy Phillips, has said his client is innocent and is being inaccurately portrayed as a spurned and obsessed boyfriend.
The burned bodies of Dhanak's father, Jayprakash, and sister, Karishma, were found by authorities responding to a brush fire in Irvine on May 22. Several hours earlier, the family's home in the Anaheim hills was torched. Dhanak's mother, Leela, was found badly beaten and unconscious in the yard.
Dhanak, a student at the University of California at Irvine, was on campus during the attacks and unharmed. She and her mother, who remains hospitalized, are now under police protection.
Anaheim police did not say how they suspect Krasnoperov was involved. It was not clear whether he had an attorney.
Murtaza, 22, was arrested last month at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport carrying a one way ticket to Bangladesh. He is charged with two counts of murder and one of attempted murder and is to be arraignment next month.