Arrest in Death of Army Veteran Found in Anaheim Car Trunk Leads to Rescue of Kidnapping Victim: Police

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When SWAT teams stormed a Santa Ana home to arrest a suspect in the killing of a man found in a car trunk in Anaheim, they discovered another man being held hostage in the home, investigators said Wednesday.

Antonio Silva is seen in a booking photo released Nov. 20, 2019, by the Anaheim Police Department.

Antonio Silva is seen in a booking photo released Nov. 20, 2019, by the Anaheim Police Department.

The suspect, Antonio Silva, 27, was taken into custody Monday night after detectives served a search warrant at his residence on the 2500 block of North Bristol Street. He had resisted but was detained with the use of a "less-lethal device," Anaheim Police Department Sgt. Daron Wyatt said in a Wednesday news briefing.

The raid was executed after detectives identified Silva as a suspect in the death of 34-year-old Army veteran Adrian Bonar of Escondido, whose body was found in a car abandoned along Santa Ana Canyon Road on Oct. 17. Homicide detectives have been working the case for over a month.

Police are not releasing the name of the abducted man, whom they say Silva had kidnapped for ransom. Officials believe the victim had been held in Silva's home a couple of days.

“He was a hostage at the location who was rescued by the SWAT team who made entry," Wyatt said. "We cannot discuss injuries other than the fact that he did go to the hospital, was treated and released the next morning.”

Investigators also uncovered what’s believed to be 2 kilograms of fentanyl and multiple firearms, including two handguns and two rifles, the sergeant said.

Silva was booked on suspicion of homicide, kidnapping and narcotics and firearms possession.

Adrian Bonar is seen in undated photos released by the Anaheim Police Department.

Adrian Bonar is seen in undated photos released by the Anaheim Police Department.

Investigators also were not releasing information on Silva's relationship to his victims. Police also would not discuss any motives, though Wyatt mentioned that Silva was “obviously involved in narcotics.”

“Regardless of what Adrian may have been involved in, he is a victim of this crime,” Wyatt said.

Bonar, an honorably discharged veteran who saw combat in Iraq, had ties to Los Angeles and Orange counties. But detectives don't know what he may have been doing in the Anaheim area before he was killed.

Wyatt said the sedan involved was abandoned as many as four days before Bonar's body was found in the trunk, wrapped in a blue tarp secured with duct tape.

Officials won't say whom the car belonged to, and they're not releasing Bonar's manner of death.

Guns and drugs seized at the Santa Ana home of Antonio Silva, a homicide and kidnapping suspect, are seen in a photo released Nov. 20, 2019, by the Anaheim Police Department.

Guns and drugs seized at the Santa Ana home of Antonio Silva, a homicide and kidnapping suspect, are seen in a photo released Nov. 20, 2019, by the Anaheim Police Department.

"Charges have been filed and we need to ensure that our prosecution is valid and we don’t jeopardize the integrity of the investigation," Wyatt said.

Wyatt wouldn't comment on how Silva was tied to the homicide, but said that investigators worked the case "from the ground up."

“We started on Oct. 17 with a body in the trunk of a car and now we have a suspect in custody with very little evidence,” he said.

The sergeant said it's too early to say if the investigation will lead to the arrest of additional suspects.

Silva was being held without bail and scheduled to appear in court Friday, inmate records show.

Investigators have not tied the case to a "notorious criminal street gang," as has been reported by other media outlets, Wyatt said, calling that reporting "speculation" and "completely false."

Anyone with information on the investigation can contact Anaheim police at 714-321-3669.

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