Pool service man charged with murder in 93-year-old Palm Desert woman's death

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The view looking east down Michigan Drive on the block where a 93-year-old woman was found dead in her Palm Desert home on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021.

A Thousand Palms man has been charged with first-dmurder in the November death of a 93-year-old Palm Desert woman.

Benjamin Briones, 60, a pool service man, was arrested by Riverside County Sheriff's Department investigators on Friday and booked into the John Benoit Detention Center in Indio. His court date is scheduled for Dec. 8 at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.

Jean Grace Willrich was found dead in her home in the 77-000 block of Michigan Drive in Palm Desert on Nov. 30. Police said her injuries were consistent with homicide.

More: Victim of apparent homicide in Palm Desert identified as Jean Grace Willrich, 93

Willrich's death is the second suspected homicide to have occurred in Palm Desert County Club in the past few weeks.

Edward Snyder, 47, of Palm Desert was found dead when sheriff’s deputies responded to a call of several shots fired in the 43-000 block of Tennessee Avenue at 10:21 p.m. on Nov. 11. Deputies arrived to find the victim dead in the street with trauma that indicated a homicide. So far no arrests have been announced in that case.

The intersection of Oklahoma Avenue and Tennessee Avenue in Palm Desert where a man was killed on Nov. 11, 2021.

More: Man killed in Palm Desert late Thursday identified as Edward Synder

The deaths have some in the neighborhood on edge.

David Jacoby, who lives at the Desert Fountains at Palm Desert near Palm Desert Country Club, told The Desert Sun earlier this week that he is often coming and going from work later at night and has become worried about some of the people he has seen walking around the neighborhood at that time.

“It's surprising but not surprising,” he added. “A robbery or a home invasion, I can see that happening, but not a homicide.”

More: Some near Palm Desert Country Club on edge as sheriff's department investigates second homicide in month

The Riverside Sheriff's Department asks anyone with information regarding the investigation to call Investigator Castaneda with Central Homicide Unit at 951-955-2777 or Investigator Chua of the Palm Desert Sheriff Station at 760-836-1600.

Previous reporting by West Valley reporter Paul Albani-Burgio contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Pool service man charged with murder in 93-year-old Palm Desert woman's death

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