Man sought on suspicion of killing girlfriend, 2 boys found in Apple Valley desert arrested in Colorado

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A man who was being sought in connection with the killing of his girlfriend and two boys found dead in an Apple Valley desert has been arrested in Colorado, officials said Thursday.

Louis Gabriel Lucero, 35, was arrested on an unrelated charge in Eagle County, Colorado about 12:30 p.m., according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

He is also being held on a murder warrant and will be scheduled for an extradition hearing before returning to Southern California.

Officials did not elaborate on the circumstances behind the arrest.

Louis Gabriel Lucero is shown in a photo released by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department on April 30, 2020.

Just before 11 a.m. Wednesday, deputies in Victorville were called to a home in 15400 block of Ferndale Road where they found signs of a struggle, officials said.

Lucero lived in the home with his girlfriend, Erlinda Villareal, 42, but the pair were not home and hadn’t been seen since earlier that morning.

Detectives tried to find Villareal and Lucero, along with his vehicle, but were not able to.

About 5:35 p.m. that evening, a person off-roading near Waalew and Corwin roads in the Apple Valley desert discovered the bodies of Villareal and two boys, about 9 and 12 years old. The boys have not been identified and their relationship to Villareal or Lucero has not been released.

Investigators believe the victims left the home with Lucero, were killed in another location and abandoned in the desert area. Officials did not elaborate on how the victims died.

It is believed that Lucero left the area in a silver-colored 2008 Ford Explorer before he was found in Colorado.

He was described as being armed and dangerous but it is unclear if he had a weapon when he was taken into custody.

Investigators search for clues at a Victorville home after three bodies were discovered in an Apple Valley desert on April 29, 2020. (LOUDLABS)

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