Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

News

Arrest Made In Murder Of Woman Found Under Newport Beach Bridge

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

An arrest has been made in the shooting death of a 28-year-old woman whose body was found under a bridge last week in Newport Beach.Jaime Prieto Rocha, 40, was taken into custody about 7:40 p.m. Friday, Jennifer Manzella of the Newport Beach Police Department told City News Service.

Police did not specify the relationship between the victim, Nancy Hammour of Santa Ana. Her sister, Yara Hayak, told the Orange County Register that she did not recognize Rocha's name.

Hayak told ABC 7 that her sister had been trying to regain custody of her four-month-old baby, who is being cared for by Orange County child protective services, and a 12-year-old son who's being raised by his grandmother.

She told the OC Register that her younger sister had struggled with drug problems since her father died six years ago but was now trying to stay clean. Hayak said the two had planned on going apartment hunting.

Support for LAist comes from

Hammour's body was found on Labor Day under the Bay Bridge near East Coast Highway and Bayside Drive. An autopsy performed last week confirmed Hammour died from a gunshot wound.

Rocha was being held in lieu of $1 million bail in the Orange County Jail. Jail records listed his occupation as a forklift operator.

The suspect had been convicted multiple times on drug-related charges and in 2009, he pleaded guilty to battery, the OC Register reports. He also pleaded guilty to unrelated charges of burglary, assault with a deadly weapon and evading a police officer.

"Even though she had her demons, she was fighting," Hayek told the Register of her sister's attempts to turn her life around.

Related:
Woman's Body Found Under Newport Beach Bridge