A California man has been arrested in connection with the fatal stabbing of a homeless woman.
Carlos Urias, 49, was taken into custody Dec. 28 in the killing of 41-year-old Joanne Otero.
Madera police say Otero and Urias — who was a known transient in the area — knew each other and are trying to figure out the suspect’s alleged motive.
“We are not sure why it occurred,” Madera Police Department Sgt. Mark Trukki tells PEOPLE. “We don’t know their relationship, but people had seen them together weeks before. We are still investigating what type of relationship it was and whether it was a domestic violence situation that resulted in her death. There is some kind of motive behind it.”
“[Urias] is not making any statements,” he adds. “He is denying any involvement.”
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE’s free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.
Officers found Otero fatally stabbed around 11:50 p.m. on Dec. 23, behind a AAA building in downtown Madera, where she regularly slept.
First responders attempted life-saving measures but they didn’t work.
Police arrested Urias after video surveillance footage from nearby businesses allegedly connected him to the killing.
“We were able to develop surveillance that showed her arriving with him and him leaving without her,” says Trukki.
Trukki says investigators pieced together the movements of both Otero and Urias by combing through multiple surveillance tapes.
Urias was booked into the Madera County Department of Corrections on the charge of murder. He has yet to be formally charged with the slaying.
“We are happy to bring closure to this pretty quickly,” says Trukki.