Murder investigation led to discovery of meth lab in Chowchilla

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Neighbors are still in shock as investigators release more details regarding the bodies and the meth lab. (KFSN)

Neighbors are still in shock as investigators release more details regarding the bodies and the meth lab found behind the doors of the duplex.

"We're still trying to solidify statements from anyone who has familial and friendship relationship to deceased. We're also trying to run down the folks--at least a name, to who leased the unit next door," said Madera County Sheriff Jay Varney

Investigators have released the names of the two victims--Armando Villanueva, 70, and Marta Torres, 63.



Varney says the city's fire and police department were responding to a fire at the home when they found the two bodies inside. He says both had significant signs of trauma.

As they were searching the other side of the duplex, investigators also found a meth conversion lab with materials they believe may have come from Mexico.

RELATED: Officials say man and woman found dead in Madera County home victims of homicide

"Could be sheer coincidence, it could be related, could be somewhere in between. That's still something we're trying to run down as part of the investigation," said Varney.

Varney says the victims were Mexican residents and were renting out the apartment while they were in town to visit family.

So far, he says there is no hard connection between the victims and the meth lab, and are searching for surveillance video that could help with the investigation.
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murderinvestigationhomicidemeth labChowchilla
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