Arrest Made in Arson Fire That Left Man Dead in Vista Home

Arson fire
The arson fire in Vista on Friday. Gilberto Gonzalez/SoCal News Outlet

A 50-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of setting fire to a house and killing a man, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department announced Wednesday.

Gregory Triana Villegas was booked into the Vista Detention Facility on suspicion of murder and arson, according to Sheriff’s Homicide Lt. Joseph Jarjura.

Last Friday at around 8 p.m., deputies received a call of a house fire in the 100 block of Palmyra Drive, the lieutenant said. The residence was occupied by multiple people.

Deputies and Vista Fire Department personnel arrived on scene and began evacuations and extinguishing the fire. They learned one of the residents was missing.

Firefighters entered the residence, but because of the flames and heat they were unable to locate the resident.

Once the fire was contained, firefighters went back inside the residence and located a body inside a bedroom.

A deputy located a person matching the arson suspect’s description walking nearby and he was detained and subsequently arrested.

With the assistance of bomb and arson detectives and a fire specialist from Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, homicide detectives collected evidence suggesting the fire was intentionally set and the behavior of the fire was indicative of arson.

The motivation and circumstances of the crimes were under investigation, Jarjura said.

Anyone with information about the murder and arson was asked to call the sheriff’s Homicide Unit at 858-285-6330 or after hours at 858-565-5200 or to call the San Diego County Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at 888-580-8477.