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Redlands orange grove murder suspect arrested

Robert Seiuli, 34, was arrested Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, in the 900 block of Washington Street in Colton for the February murder of 23-year-old Sylvia Marie Flores.
October 28, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
An arrest was made Saturday in the murder of a 23-year-old woman whose body was found in an orange grove in Redlands on Feb. 26.

Robert Seiuli, 34, was arrested for murder in the 900 block of Washington Street in the city of Colton around 5 p.m.

Detectives linked Seiuli to the murder of Sylvia Marie Flores, 23, of Perris. The victim, who was working as a prostitute in San Bernardino at the time of her death, was murdered on Feb. 26. Her body was found in an orange grove near Almond Avenue and Alabama Street.

Detectives say they began receiving tips from the public after they released a composite sketch and vehicle description on Sept. 12.

Authorities obtained the sketch and vehicle description of the suspect after DNA from Flores' murder matched samples recovered in a 2003 kidnapping, rape and assault case.

In the 2003 incident, Seiuli offered the victim a ride and drove her to the 2200 block of West Washington Street in San Bernardino where he forcible raped her. The victim escaped and notified police but the suspect was never identified or arrested.

DNA samples were collected from the victim and submitted to the FBI's Combined DNA Index System database where they recently matched the DNA profile collected from Flores.

The victim in the 10-year-old case also helped Redlands police with the sketch that eventually led to the suspect's arrest.

Seiuli was booked for murder at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cuamonga. He is being held without bail.

Anyone with information related to the cases was asked to contact Detective Corey Hunt at (909) 798-7688 or Redlands police at (909) 798-7681.

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