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Felony complaint alleges box cutter, hammer, screwdriver, knife used in La Quinta torture, murder


A felony complaint obtained by News Channel 3 on Tuesday has revealed more information about the killing of a man whose body was found in a garbage can in La Quinta last week.

On Tuesday, 32-year-old Cristina Noelle Canimo of Palm Desert was set to be arraigned for murder. Her arraignment was postponed until December 9th.

Canimo was taken into custody at 3 a.m. Friday, 15 hours after deputies initially responded to a home on East Parkway Esplanade for a report of a body found in a trash can.

The felony complaint, filed Tuesday, alleges that Canimo used a "knife...boxcutter...screwdriver...[and] hammer" in the torture and killing of the victim, identified in the document as "Ronald C".

At the time of this publication, the Riverside County Coroner's Bureau had not officially identified the victim.

Canimo was charged with two felonies on Tuesday, murder with malice (violation of California Penal Code section 187) and torture (violation of California Penal Code section 206). She also faces the special circumstance of torture in commission of murder. If convicted, she could be eligible for a death sentence.

"The defendant did willfully and unlawfully and with the intent to cause cruel or extreme pain and suffering for the purpose of revenge, extortion, persuasion, or for any sadistic purpose, inflicted great bodily injury upon the person of another, to wit: Ronald C," read an excerpt from the felony complaint.

Viewers told News Channel 3 that Canimo was a caregiver at the location of the crime, Sunbrook Residential Care, an elderly residential care facility.

State documents uncovered by News Channel 3 revealed a sordid past for the facility, with staff members being hired despite criminal records and the traumatic injury of a patient in the past year.

Read the full felony complaint below

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Sam Benson Smith

Sam Benson Smith is the Digital Content Director for Gulf California Broadcasting. Learn more about Sam here.

Shelby Nelson

Shelby Nelson is a News Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. She joined our team in September 2019 after living in San Francisco for 6 years. Learn more about Shelby here.


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