Joseph M.Guerrero, 36, has been identified as the suspect in the murder of 21-year-old Bianca Vite.
On 12/25/12 at approximately 12:32 a.m., members of the Mount Pleasant Police Department and members of the Racine County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to 5535 – 16th Street, in the Village of Mount Pleasant, County of Racine, State of Wisconsin, reference a residence being on fire. The Mount Pleasant Police Department and the Racine County Sheriff’s Office were the first on scene and upon arrival, noticed large flames in the living room area and large amounts of smoke coming out of the front door. Flames were visible through the living room window. The South Shore Fire Department arrived and did take over the scene for purposes of fire suppression.
According to the criminal complaint, Vite’s body was found in a chair in the living room, and a gas can was on the floor only a few feet away. Investigators labeled the fire as arson after identifying burn patterns on the north and south walls of the living room.
The owners of the home live out of state and told police that no one should have been in the house at the time of the fire, the complaint reads. But, the homeowners also reportedly told officers that a friend of the family had been allowed to stay there, and that person is related to the defendant.
After investigators discovered that Vite married Guerrero in July 2012, they immediately went to question him, but were unable to locate him. A warrant was issued, and Kenosha police arrested Guerrero on Dec. 26.
Investigators say they interviewed Guerrero at the Kenosha County Jail, and he reportedly admitted he and Vite had been living at the house “because they had no where else to go.” During the interview, he confessed to strangling Vite against a wall because she scratched him during an argument on Dec. 22, but he said he didn’t realize he had squeezed so hard and his efforts to revive his wife were unsuccessful.
He then told police he placed Vite’s body on a chair and covered her with a blanket, the complaint reads. Guerrero also said he tried to kill himself by pouring gasoline around the couch and trying to set it on fire. When flames did catch in the fireplace and began to spread, Guerrero said he realized he had to get out of the house.Share on Facebook