Police who accompanied firefighters to a medical emergency call that morning summoned homicide detectives after they noticed the woman had a head wound “and something just wasn’t right about the scene,” said Burbank Police Sgt. Robert Quesada.
The Los Angeles County coroner said the cause of Marie Brancato’s death remains under investigation.
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office is scheduled to review the case and determine what charges, if any, to file, Quesada said. If homicide charges are filed, the case would be the first homicide in Burbank since 2009, he added.
Joseph Brancato has a history of alleged violence, according to police records and neighbors. He was arrested in January 2010 for allegedly hitting his wife on the head, according to a Burbank police booking report. And Quesada said police had been called out to the home previously for “arguments and violence.”
One neighbor, who did not want to be named, said arguing could be heard all the time.
Ron Rossiter, a 40-year resident who lives a block away, said he didn’t know the couple and rarely saw them walking the neighborhood. But he often saw police cars.
“When I see them rolling by and once they pull over, I know what it is — some sort of domestic violence,” Rossiter said.