Teens Arrested For Strangling, Burning Barbara Latiolais

Christian Birdsall, 16, and Cody Nicosia, 18, will be tried as adults, Alameda County Sheriff's say.


Christian Birdsall, 16, and Cody Nicosia, 18, hid outside the home of Barbara Latiolais waiting for her to leave so they could rob the house but when she remained at home, they strangled her in cold blood, stole her car and had lunch in Castro Valley, Alameda County Sheriff's alleged Friday morning.

"This is the kind of case fear and nightmares are made of," said Sgt. J.D. Nelson at a press conference where they announced that both suspects were cooperating with authorities and would be tried as adults.

The brutality of the murder/arson shocked even the investigators on the case.

Firefighters found the body of Latiolais while putting out a blaze in the home at 2431 San Carlos Avenue that she shared with her long-time partner, Michael Rice.

Rice, 60, a retired San Franciso firefighter, was out of town at the time and was not a suspect, authorities said.

On Wednesday, authorities published a sketch of a short, dark-complected male in his late teens who was seen in the vicinity of the crime.

This suspect, Birdsall, abandoned a 2006 black Volvo SUV -- stolen from the victim's home -- at the end of Brookdale Boulevard a few hours after the attack.

This story will be updated.

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Michelle Lang October 26, 2012 at 06:47 PM
May you rest in peace Barbara, and your family have strength to carry on in your memory. I didn't know you, but I feel as I do, my own sister was a victim of murder in CV in 1996. Thankfully they have caught your murders and they will be brought to justice, as were my sister's. what is happening with our young people? so much hate and violence from one to another human being. No values, no culture,
Gayle October 26, 2012 at 08:21 PM
The details of the crime are horrific...absolutely sickening. R.I.P., Barbara Latiolais. I pray for your family and friends. Michelle Lang-- I am truly sorry for the loss of your sister.
Ryan Rice November 04, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Thank you both so very much for your kind words. My name is Ryan Rice, Barbara is my mother and that was my childhood home, I'm still completely speechless it seems so unreal but I wanted to personally thank both of you for your words of encouragement
Michelle Lang November 04, 2012 at 09:09 PM
dear Ryan, from the memories shared by your father in the patch article, your mother was a vibrant and kind loving woman in the springtime of her life. We are all connected and when something like this happens, it affects us all, lives changed forever. Know that you have the love and support of our entire community.


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