Suspect arrested in killing of Millbrae pair

Part-time Burlingame resident and property manager Joseph George Cua, 52, was arrested this week in the brutal killing of a Millbrae couple, San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Don O’Keefe announced Tuesday.

Fernand and Suzanne Wagner were found dead in their home at 623 Lomita Ave. last Wednesday afternoon after Suzanne Wagner’s hair salon employer told police that she hadn’t shown up for work.

Few details were released regarding the couple’s condition immediately after their discovery, but the Sheriff’s Office, which is leading the investigation, said Tuesday that they sustained brutal beatings and were surrounded by blood.

Authorities put out an all-points bulletin on Cua after getting a phone call tip Friday evening. A police officer in Oxnard found Cua driving Sunday in the white Dodge pickup detailed in the bulletin. The truck had plates registered for a Nissan instead of a truck.

He was arrested and booked into the Ventura County Jail. Cua will likely be brought to San Mateo County for arraignment by Thursday or Friday.

“This was a huge break for us,” O’Keefe said, noting it has greatly focused the investigation.

O’Keefe declined to detail the relationship between Cua and the Wagners, saying only that Cua worked as a property manager for the couple.

Cua appears to have roots in a number of places around the state. Cua’s Burlingame Avenue apartment — where authorities believed he lived alone — has “Cua/Wagner” on the mailbox label. He has an address in an unincorporated area of Hemet in Riverside County, O’Keefe said, and gets the assessment bills for a small sailboat docked in California Yacht Marina Wilmington, according to L.A. County assessor’s spokesman Robert Knowles. Authorities said they believe he has a boat in Ventura County as well, though officials there couldn’t find records with his name.

Investigators finished gathering evidence at the couple’s home this weekend, but O’Keefe would not describe what, if anything, was taken from the home. The Wagners’ black Cadillac was missing from the house the day they were found, but officers found the car later that night parked near Second Avenue and Castle Street in Daly City.

There hasn’t been a murder in Millbrae since 2003, when a man killed his 3-year-old daughter and then killed himself in his apartment, according to the Millbrae Police Department.

tramroop@examiner.com

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