Teacher found dead in a burned car

LANCASTER, CA – A 27-year-old elementary school teacher and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) graduate, Veronica Aguilar, was discovered dead in the trunk of a burned car in California. Matthew Switalski, 37, a former boyfriend of Aguilar, was charged with her murder.

The horrifying discovery of Aguilar’s body was made by firefighters after they responded to a blaze at Switalski’s residence in Lancaster’s Quartz Hill neighborhood on Wednesday. Neighbors in the LA suburb suggested that Switalski and Aguilar had a past romantic relationship.

After the grisly instance in his garage, Switalski was considered a “person of interest.” He was located in Kern County late on Thursday and detained on a murder charge. Local residents recalled hearing a woman’s screams and what seemed like an explosion preceding the house fire on 38th Street West.

Aguilar, according to her family, was a UCLA alumnus and an elementary school teacher in Palmdale. Her brother, Juan Aguilar, spoke to reporters about their devastating loss, stating, “Things will never be the same ever again. We miss her so much.”

Neighbors reported that Switalski was formerly associated with Northrop Grumman, which is a global aerospace and defense technology company. The suspect reportedly rented out several rooms in his house to its employees. Court records indicate that Switalski is being held on a $10 million bail. He was also previously arrested in May for an unspecified felony.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau issued an appeal for anyone with information to contact them or to make an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers.