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A California wildfire where 2 were found dead was cover-up for murder, officials say

A 2020 wildfire in California where two people were found dead was deemed as arson and a cover-up for murder, investigators said. A suspect is now in custody.

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A 2020 wildfire in California where two people were found dead was deemed as arson and a cover-up for murder, investigators said Wednesday during a briefing. That suspect is now in custody.

"The source of the 2020 Markley fire was arson and the two resulting deaths from that fire are now considered homicides," said Solano County Sheriff Tom Ferrara. "Two fire victims were discovered deceased in their homes as a result of that fire. Eighty-two-year-old Douglas Mai, and 64-year-old Leon Bone."

The Markley Fire, which sparked Aug. 18, eventually merged with other fires nearby, became part of the LNU Complex Fire. The series of fires burned more than 363,000 acres across five counties.

Nearly 1,500 structures were also destroyed during the fire.

A total of five people died from the overall complex, but two of them died from the Markley Fire, in which an eight-month investigation determined the fire was started to cover up another crime.

The following month in September, the Solano County District Attorney's filed a felony complaint charging Victor Serriteno with one count of murder. It alleges that the suspect murdered a woman — whose body was later recovered from the origin of the fire — Aug. 16.

That suspect is now facing multiple arson and murder-related charges in connection with the Markley Fire and the two victims whose deaths are now considered homicides.