Police still searching for motive in killing of 2 Orange County women

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Yolanda Holtrey, 59, was one of two women killed after a New Year's Eve party in Westminster. (KABC)

Authorities released the identity of a second woman killed after a fire at a New Year's house party in Westminster but say the motive for the killing remains undetermined.

Suspect Christopher Ireland, 37, is expected to make his first court appearance Wednesday in the killing of Yolanda Holtrey, 59, and her friend Michelle Luke, 49.

Police say Holtrey's home was set on fire early New Year's Day, shortly after she threw a New Year's Eve party. Her son says that was the first time she met Ireland.

Investigators say the bodies of the two women were found Monday in brush near the Newport Hills Shopping Center in Newport Beach.

Friends say the two victims and the suspect's wife Samantha worked together at Stein Mart in Huntington Beach.

Stein Mart says it has made grief counselors available for workers.

"We're very saddened by the loss of our two associates," the company said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with their families."

Police say so far the motive is not known. Friends say there were no arguments between those involved at the party.

A friend of Ireland described him as a loving father to his young son, although he was dealing with declining finances. He also is recovering from back surgery, his friend said.
Related Topics:
deadly firehouse firehomicidedouble murderWestminsterNewport BeachOrange County
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