2 Californians charged in shooting of man dumped at sea

December 19, 2019 GMT

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Two people were arrested Thursday in connection with the shooting death of a man whose body was dumped at sea off the coast of California.

Hoang Xuan Le, 38, was charged with murder and 40-year-old Sheila Marie Ritze was charged with being an accessory after the fact, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

Authorities said in court papers they believe the victim headed out for a fishing trip in October when he was killed over a debt. His body was dumped at sea and found two days later, the statement said.

More than a week later, a person reached out to the victim’s family and said Le had confessed to killing the victim because he owed him money, the statement said. That person was not identified by authorities, nor was the victim.

Authorities said Ritze owned the boat and was linked to the killing through cellphone and surveillance data that placed her in the harbor when the boat left and returned without the victim.

The suspects were arrested by the FBI and were expected to appear in federal court in Santa Ana later on Thursday.

A message was left for Le’s attorney. Ritze’s attorney said he had not yet received information about the case.