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5 arrested in connection with murder of South Bay woman

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8/CNS) - Five suspects were behind bars Thursday in connection with the slaying of a 30-year-old South Bay woman who went missing last month and was found dead 10 days later in a wooded area in the far northern reaches of San Diego County.

Jonnie Alexander Isaguirre, 22, Crystal Lopez Melendez, 33, Maria Yvette Perreira, 26, Amber Star Suarez, 37, and Pablo Victor Valadez, 35 were arrested on Wednesday for allegedly taking part in the murder of Alexandria Nicole Smith of National City.

Authorities did not immediately reveal the suspects' alleged roles in Smith's death or disclose their connections to her or a motive for the killing.

Smith, whose family described her as a "known narcotics user" with a history of depression, disappeared on Oct. 2, Lt. Graham Young said. Her cellphone was found dumped in a commercial trash bin in Vista two days later, the lieutenant said.

On Oct. 12, her body was discovered in a remote location off Pala Road, near the Riverside County line. An autopsy determined that she had been slain, but officials have withheld the cause of death.

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