Castro Valley woman killed in arson murder case identified

CASTRO VALLEY (KTVU) -- The Alameda County Sheriff's Office on Friday identified the widow who was killed before her Castro Valley home was torched in order to destroy evidence about the slaying.

Authorities said Andrea St. John, 59, lived alone in the home in the 1800 block of Grove Way before she was slain on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016.

Authorities have said the woman's body was found in the garage and that her body had been badly burned before she was found by firefighters.

Investigators have said a fire broke out shortly before 3 a.m. at the residence. During a press conference after the fire and homicide, investigators said the blaze was deliberately set and was an effort to erase evidence. 

Officials have still not publicly announced how the woman died.

Investigators said they suspect the blaze started in the attic of the home. It was not disclosed if the woman had been targeted because she lived alone or if the slaying was a random act that occurred during the burglary of the residence.

 Anyone with information was asked to call 510-667-3636 if they have any details that could lead to an arrest in the case.

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