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Update: Second Arrest Made In Gruesome Murder

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Stockton, CA — Stockton Police have arrested a woman in connection with the murder of a man whose torso was found burning in a campfire in Groveland. 49-year-old Valentina Taz of Stockton was questioned last night about the slaying and taken into custody.

Stockton Police Spokesperson Joe Silva says, “Our homicide detectives definitely feel that she was involved in the homicide. Her exact role I don’t know, but she was booked into the San Joaquin County Jail for the charges of homicide and conspiracy.”


Silva says Taz lived with the other murder suspect 38-year-old Bryan Cook at a home on the 4500 block of Mist Trail Drive. That is where police first discovered a bloody crime scene on Thursday, but no body.

Tips led detectives to a property in Groveland and they were assisted by Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Deputies in checking out the location. While there they discovered Cook at a campfire burning a male torso. A search of the campsite found additional body parts in Cook’s vehicle. He was arrested on suspicion of homicide without incident.


Police had put out an alert for Taz last night saying they wanted to question her about the grisly slaying. At that time, Silva said she was only wanted for questioning and was not a suspect. Deputies located Taz in Tuolumne County late last night. After Stockton Police questioned her she was arrested.


The victim has not been identified. Silva would not comment on how the man died or if a murder weapon had been found at the home or campsite.


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