SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Police arrested a 56-year-old man who works for the state Friday on suspicion that he killed two adults and two children in a quiet Northern California neighbourhood .
Authorities did not release the names of the victims, but friends and relatives of a young family that lived in the Sacramento house feared the worst.
Rita Munoz, who lives in the neighbourhood , said her grandchildren played with an 11-year-old boy and 14-year-old girl who lived with their mother in the house. Munoz said her neighbour's mother arrived at the house shortly after the bodies were found Thursday and was heard crying "Oh my gosh, my only baby. My grandbabies are all gone," after she learned what happened.
Later Munoz said she overheard the woman say: "I told her not to go back to him."
Sacramento police declined to discuss the suspect's relationship with the victims and said they haven't determined a motive.
"It's a horrible thing," Munoz said.
Police originally detained Salvador Vasquez-Oliva in San Francisco about 90 miles (145 kilometres ) away on Thursday afternoon and formally arrested him Friday morning.
He was being held in the Sacramento County Jail, police spokesman Sgt. Bryce Heinlein said.
The four victims were discovered Thursday morning when police broke into the home after a relative reported that something might be wrong.
Vasquez-Oliva was quickly singled out by investigators on Thursday. Police said he is from Sacramento, but records show he is also is associated with an apartment near the University of San Francisco, six blocks from where police found him. The building is in a nice neighbourhood , but is worn and run down. There was no answer at the door, though a light remained on inside.
The California Employment Development Department, which administers the state's unemployment checks, said it has employed Vasquez-Oliva as an office technician since 2014.
The single-story beige home with sculpted shrubbery where the bodies were found has a basketball hoop in a driveway that police blocked with yellow crime scene tape. It's located in a tree-lined residential neighbourhood of neatly maintained homes near a church.
Police have not said when or how the victims were killed.
Associated Press writers Kristin J. Bender and Amanda Lee Myers also contributed to this report. Elias and Bender contributed from San Francisco, and Myers contributed from Los Angeles.
Don Thompson And Paul Elias, The Associated Press