Almon Johnson, 29, was arrested in San Francisco on Monday, but investigators believe the murder occurred in Sacramento, police Officer Eric Chiang said.
"(The body) was driven here and then set ablaze," Chiang said.
The victim has been identified as Vanessa Herrera, 23, of Sacramento, according to police and the medical examiner's office. Police have not disclosed the relationship between Johnson and Herrera.
Police found Herrera's body at about 3:30 a.m. on Monday in a two-door gray Pontiac after receiving a report of a burning car in the 400 block of Rose Street.