After eluding police for more than two months, a Lake Elsinore man suspected of killing a woman and then stuffing her body in a suitcase has been found.
Tuesday, Joseph Dorsey, 28, was located and arrested by Mexican officials along with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Inland Regional Apprehension Team (IRAT) in the city of Rosarito, Mexico, according to Sgt. Robert Novak of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
“The Riverside County District Attorney's Office is in the process of arranging the extradition of Joseph Dorsey to the United States for prosecution in Riverside County,” the sergeant said.
Dorsey has been MIA since August. A warrant was issued for his arrest after police found on Aug. 8 a woman stuffed inside a suitcase in a Best Western Motel room located in Poway, a quiet city located in north San Diego County.
The body was that of Dorsey’s alleged girlfriend, Christine Stewart, 47, of Canyon Lake. The pair was reported missing days earlier and police issued a news release stating the two had last been seen Aug. 4.
“If he gets stopped anywhere in the country, the warrant will pop up,” said Deputy Albert Martinez of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, the lead agency on the investigation.
The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office has filed one count of murder against Dorsey in connection with the slaying.
It’s alleged that Stewart was killed in Riverside County and her body taken by Dorsey to the motel on Poway Road. Evidence found at Dorsey’s apartment on Main Street in Lake Elsinore lead authorities to believe Stewart was there before she was killed.
During the course of their investigation, homicide detectives learned Dorsey had checked into a room at the motel, but he never checked out.
“Motel employees took possession of property Dorsey left inside the room, including a large rolling suitcase, approximately 3 feet long and 18 inches wide and deep,” said John Hall, spokesman for the Riverside County District Attorney's Office. “Homicide investigators found the body of Stewart, who was about 5 feet, 2 inches tall and 100 pounds, inside the suitcase.”
Details on how Stewart was killed have not been released by authorities, but Hall called the slaying “brutal.”
Dorsey and Stewart had been in a dating relationship, according to Martinez.
The victim worked as a behavioral health specialist at a drug rehabilitation facility in Hemet, Martinez said.