Man Accused Of Trying To Cover Up A Murder — By Starting Devastating Fire That Killed 2 More People

Victor Serriteno is accused of murdering Priscilla Castro, then setting a fire to conceal the crime.

Priscilla Castro and Victor Serriteno CBS 13

In August 2020, Priscilla Castro, 32, went to Vacaville, California, for a date with Victor Serriteno, 29, a man she met on a dating app.

In every online dater's worst nightmare, she was never heard from again.

A month later, investigators found Castro’s burned body near Lake Berryessa. And now, this tragedy has taken an even darker turn.

Investigators believe Serriteno set fire to Castro's body in an attempt to conceal his crime, and that his actions resulted in the deaths of two more people, taking the lives of Douglas Mai, 82, and Leon "James" Bone, 64.


How did the Markley Fire begin?

The Markley Fire was believed to be set near the Monticello Dam on August 18.

It then merged into a larger fire which became part of the massive LNU Lightning Complex fire that burned over 363,000 acres, caused six deaths, and destroyed about 1,500 homes and other buildings.

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Castro went to meet Serriteno on August 16, 2020. Detectives learned that the two met up at Serriteno’s home.

After two days of no phone or social media activity, Castro’s family became worried and reported her missing. Hours after the report, investigators found her car abandoned.

Detectives used Castro's cell phone data records and found that Serriteno was the last person to see her alive.

Tracking Serriteno’s cell phone, detectives put him in the area of Homestead Trail at the base of the Monticello Dam near Lake Berryessa on August 16.

On September 2, a grid search was done, and the burned body of Priscilla Castro was found.

Serriteno was arrested and booked into Solano County Jail with no bail.


“I knew there were ugly people in the world but I never knew they would do something to someone so close to us,” Priscilla’s sister Jasmine Castro said.

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Investigators believe that the Markley fire was set by Serriteno to cover up Castro's murder.

Tragically, this led to the deaths of Mai and Bone who were found dead in their homes in the Stebbins-Cold Canyon area, near Lake Berryessa.

The Solano Country Sheriff’s Office believes Serriteno is solely responsible for the Markley Fire.

“Based on the extensive eight-month-long investigation, we believe Serriteno deliberately set the Markley Fire in an attempt to conceal his crime,” Solano County Sheriff Tom Ferrara said in a news conference.


This revelation does not just open up the wound for Castro’s family, but for the families and those affected by the fire, and the deaths which followed.

“We really feel for them because we know the pain, we know how they feel to lose the one you love. He doesn’t deserve to get away with not one bit of this,” Jasmine Castro told KOVR.

Last September, Serriteno was charged with Castro's murder. Now prosecutors are filing to add two more counts of murder and arson.


“Our continued condolences go out to the families affected by these crimes and we hope that this arrest can provide some degree of solace,” Solano County Sheriff’s Office officials said.

Castro’s cause of death has not been released and Serriteno’s motive is still under investigation.

The Markley Fire has been determined to be arson and the deaths are being considered homicide.

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Leeann Reed is a writer who covers news, pop culture, and love, and relationship topics.