San Diego

Vista Laundry Room Killing Victim Identified, But Autopsy is Sealed

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department said Miguel Alejandro Ruiz, 30, is the victim in the Jan. 14 homicide in Vista

Authorities have identified the man found dead inside a bloody laundry room at an apartment complex in Vista ove the weekend -- but his cause of death remains a mystery.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDSO) confirmed Tuesday that the victim was Miguel Alejandro Ruiz, a 30-year-old Vista resident. While Ruiz's manner of death has been ruled a homicide, the SDSO said his autopsy has been sealed, so his cause of death is unknown.

SDSO Homicide Detail Lt. Kenn Nelson said there have been no arrests yet in the killing of Ruiz. Officials confirmed the victim is a documented gang member.

On Jan. 14, just before 4:40 a.m., deputies were called to an apartment complex located at 1515 South Melrose Dr. to investigate a report of a person hurt int he communal laundry room of the residential building.

In the laundry room, deputies discovered Ruiz suffering from some type of undisclosed trauma to his body. He died at the scene.

Nelson said that "based on the position" of Ruiz's body, it was difficult for deputies to immediately determine the type of injuries to the victim. 

"There is quite a large amount of blood there," the lieutenant said, speaking of the laundry room scene.

Vista resident Lundy Dawn lives at the apartment complex on South Melrose Drive and told NBC 7 she woke up to "chaos" on the morning of Jan. 14, including deputies' sirens blaring and dogs barking. Dawn said she also heard a lot of yelling at the complex, which sounded like it was coming from the laundry room.

"It was hard to understand and comprehend," she recounted. "I heard the sirens and then finally realized what was going on. Obviously, there was something major going on."

Dawn, like other residents, was shaken by the incident at their apartment complex. Some residents were told to stay inside their apartments for many hours that morning while investigators searched for evidence just steps from their front doors.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on this case can reach out to the SDSO's Homicide Detail at (858) 974-2321 or call the after-hours line at (858) 565-5200.

Contact Us