On December 8, 2015, Anaheim homicide detectives arrested John Augustin, a 52 year old transient from Fullerton, for the 1998 cold case murder of Irene Ruelaz.
Ruelaz was reported missing by family members on April 24, 1998. Approximately one week later, on May 3, 1998, Ruelaz’ mother and daughter went to her apartment at 1781 W. Ball Road #4 to retrieve property. Upon arrival, they detected a foul odor coming from inside the residence. Anaheim police officers forced entry into the residence and found Ruelaz’ decomposed body concealed under piles of clothing in a closet. Ruelaz’ family members immediately suspected her ex-boyfriend, Augustin, of being involved due to previous abusive behavior towards Ruelaz. At the time a criminal case was not filed.
Over the past several months Anaheim homicide detectives engaged in a joint investigation with the Orange County Homicide Task Force in a re-examination of the case. The investigation culminated in Augustin’s arrest for Ruelaz’ murder. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office is expected to issue a criminal complaint within the next few days.
Augustin was located in Fullerton and is being held at the Orange County Jail in lieu of $1,000,000 bail.
Augustin’s booking photo is below.