Suspect in slaying of Hollister woman charged with murder, kidnapping

David Quiroz was charged with homicide.

David J. Quiroz, 30, of Hollister was arraigned Tuesday afternoon on charges alleging murder and kidnapping for ransom with bodily harm in the death of Heather Carroll, 25, who was found in his Cerra Vista home by law enforcement authorities on Saturday.

Judge Steven Sanders, who presided over the arraignment, set bail at $1.5 million with a preliminary examination set for 2 p.m. Nov. 15.

Dressed in white and black jail garb, Quiroz kept his head down during the preceding and answered most of Sanders’ questions with a simple yes or no. Sanders asked if he could afford to hire an attorney, if Quiroz was working and when the last time he had worked. He also asked if Quiroz received government assistance or assistance of a family member. Quiroz’s responses were inaudible to members of the audience.

Public defender Greg La Forge asked the judge to allow five to six weeks before the next court appearance. District Attorney Candice Hooper represented the prosecution. 

The San Benito County courtroom was filled to capacity with friends and family members of Carroll – whose husband Grady and in-laws Susan and Mike Carroll are long-time Hollister residents.

Police released a statement Tuesday noting that Carroll, a Hollister mother and wife, was officially identified in the homicide. After a Monday autopsy, the coroner ruled her preliminary cause of death as blunt force trauma and strangulation.

Carroll went missing Wednesday after dropping her 5-year-old son off at Ladd Lane Elementary School. Her sport utility vehicle showed up – engulfed in flames – early Thursday morning near Enterprise Road and Glenview Drive. Police on Friday were on the way to question Quiroz, a family friend of the Carrolls, when someone called 911 reporting he was possibly suicidal and may have a firearm.

After an 11-hour standoff – police said there was no firearm involved – Quiroz surrendered early Saturday morning at his home in the 2100 block of Cerra Vista Drive on Hollister’s southeast side. He directed investigators to Carroll’s body in the home. Police believe Quiroz killed her in the same residence.

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