Man arrested in killing near California wildfire

May 4, 2019

OROVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California man has been arrested on suspicion of killing a woman whose body was discovered as the state’s most destructive wildfire raged nearby.

The Oroville Police Department says 42-year-old Brian Madding is being held Friday on $1 million bail in the death of 86-year-old Greta Putnam.

It’s unclear whether he has an attorney.

Putnam was found in her home at the Cottonwood Estates mobile home park on Nov. 8, hours after a fire broke out about 17 miles away in Paradise.

Police told the Chico Enterprise-Record the fire hampered the investigation because police resources were stretched thin during the emergency.

Lt. Chris Nicodemus says Putnam was well liked in her senior community and called her murder a “horrific case.”

A motive for her killing hasn’t been released.