Suspect in fatal San Francisco car fire was father of burned woman’s son 

More details are emerging about the relationship between a slain Sacramento woman and the man who allegedly killed her before burning her body in the Lower Haight this week.

The suspect, 29-year-old Almon Johnson, is the father of Vanessa Herrera’s 7-month-old son, family members said Thursday.

Also, prosecutors revealed that Herrera was strangled before Johnson allegedly drove her body to San Francisco and torched her gray two-door Pontiac with the corpse inside.

Johnson was arrested in downtown San Francisco on Monday night. He was booked on suspicion of murder, arson, destruction of ­evidence and a parole violation.

Family members reported Herrera missing Monday after she did not show up to work, according to a report from KXTV-TV in Sacramento. She was last seen Sunday night after leaving her son with his uncle, the news channel
reported.

Family and friends took to Facebook and Twitter in an attempt to find her. They were devastated when the San Francisco medical examiner confirmed the body in the scorched car was Herrera.

“RIP Vanessa Herrera such a beautiful girl mother cousin and friend,” Janessa Garcia, who said she is Herrera’s cousin, wrote on Twitter.

On Thursday, Johnson’s distraught mother, Anya Galene, told The San Francisco Examiner she cannot fathom that her son would kill anyone, let alone the mother of his child.

“They loved each other, as far as I know,” Galene told The Examiner. “My son’s a fine man, he always has been.”

Galene revealed little about the couple’s relationship, saying she is “still in mourning for my daughter-in-law” and was not prepared to talk in detail.

Johnson was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday, but was deemed mentally unfit to show up in court. His bail was set at $10 million.

The motive for the killing remains under investigation.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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