A man was arrested Wednesday after a standoff with Calaveras County Sheriff’s deputies, following the discovery of a burned vehicle with a body inside.
At approximately 7:05 a.m. on May 29, the Sheriff’s Office was alerted to a vehicle fire on Lower Telegraph Road and Highway 4 in Copperopolis. The fire was put out and a body was found inside.
According to a report released by the Sheriff’s Office, deputies from the agency and a crew from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) remained on scene throughout the day, investigating the fire.
A captain with Cal Fire discovered a man hiding in the grass near the scene. David Joseph Fagundes, 41, of Washington state, who was found in the grass, is on probation for unknown charges.
A standoff then ensued between Fagundes and authorities, as he claimed he was armed.Traffic on Highway 4 near Telegraph road was shut down from 6:20 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Fagundes was making threats to law enforcement and claimed to be suicidal, according to the report.
Both SWAT and two K-9 units were called in. As a negotiator talked with the subject, a K-9 was able to take Fagundes into custody.
Sgt. Greg Stark of the Sheriff’s Office said that investigators found evidence linking Fagundes with the burned vehicle, and they are treating the investigation as a homicide. This is the first homicide of 2019 for Calaveras County.
A violation of probation has been filed on Fagundes from Washington state and he is currently being charged with criminal threats, being under the influence, resisting arrest and making criminal threats to officials.
Fagundes has a felony conviction for burglary in Montana from 1996 and a conviction in Bonner County, Idaho, for felony battery, as reported by the Spokesman-Review. In February of 2012, Fagundes was accused of stabbing a man to death in Downtown Spokane, and initially pleaded not guilty to a second-degree murder charge. He then pleaded guilty in 2013 to first-degree manslaughter and served 78 months in prison, 36 months on probation, and was required to pay $2,487 in victim restitution, according to court records on the Spokesman-Review website.
The victim’s identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The results of the autopsy are expected to be released later today.
The Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information pertaining to the case to call detectives at 754-6500.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.