A young Muslim man has been charged with the murders of the father and sister of an Indian American Hindu woman who stopped dating him following objections from her family.
Iftekhar Murtaza was arrested Wednesday on charges of murdering Jayprakash Dhanak, 56, and his daughter Karishma, 20, and severely beating Dhanak's wife Leela, 53, last month.
He allegedly also set the family's Anaheim Hills home in California on fire. Leela is still in hospital and investigators have not been able to interview her.
If convicted, Murtaza could face death penalty or life imprisonment without parole, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Police said Dhanak disapproved of his younger daughter, 18-year-old Shayona, dating Murtaza.
According to court papers, the young couple had broken up due to family pressure a few weeks before the murders.
Initially, investigators were baffled by the incident. They zeroed on Murtaza after tracking his cell phone records, which showed it had been used near one of the crime scene an hour or so before the slayings although he told authorities he wasn't in Anaheim Hills on the day of the incident.
Murtaza was arrested at the Phoenix airport here a few days after the killings. He had an air ticket to Bangladesh.