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Westminster man charged with murder after body found in van at Fountain Valley gas station

A 39-year-old Westminster man has been charged with murder after a man was found dead in a van at a Fountain Valley gas station last weekend, authorities said.

Matthew Francisco Mattice was arrested by Westminster police at a Travelodge motel in the 1400 block of Bristol Street in Costa Mesa about 11:40 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3, Sgt. Eddie Esqueda said.

He was charged on Friday with murder, including an enhancement for the personal use of a firearm, and for being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to court records. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

Mattice is being held in jail on $1 million bail, according to police and inmate records.

He is accused of killing Donald Joshua Ratzlaff, 41, of Huntington Beach, whose body was found in a white van at a Fountain Valley Arco gas station at 10975 Edinger Ave. about 4:30 a.m. Sunday, July 31, Westminster police Sgt. Eddie Esqueda said.

The gas station is on the corner of Euclid Street and across from Mile Square Park.

Westminster investigators said they believe the shooting may have occurred at an apartment complex about three miles away in the 15000 block of Magnolia Street, Esqueda said. Callers told police shots were fired and those involved left in a white van.

About 20 minutes later, police received a call of a gunshot victim inside a white van at the gas station, Esqueda said. The driver had fled.

How police identified Mattice as the suspect and how they tracked him to the motel were not disclosed. No motive for the shooting was given.

File source

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