Man wanted in deaths of 3 men at Perris cemetery arrested in Wyoming

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A man identified last week as the suspect in a triple homicide at a Perris cemetery was arrested Thursday in Wyoming, authorities said.

José Luis Torres Garcia is seen in a photo released by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department on Feb. 20, 2020.
José Luis Torres Garcia is seen in a photo released by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department on Feb. 20, 2020.

Jose Luis Torres Garcia, 33, is accused in the deaths of three Perris residents — Jaime Covarrubias Espindola, 50; Jose Maria Aguilar-Espejel, 38; and Rodrigo Aguilar-Espejel, 28 — who were found dead near a gravesite at the Perris Valley Cemetery the morning of Feb. 17.

Last week, deputies obtained felony warrants for Garcia’s arrest and announced a manhunt in search of the homicide suspect.

Garcia was pulled over Thursday in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and local authorities found 15 pounds of marijuana in the silver GMC he was driving, according to a news release from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Garcia was the vehicle’s sole occupant, officials said.

Authorities provided no further details on Thursday’s arrest, and extradition plans were unclear.

Investigators previously said they believe Garcia acted alone in killing the three men, with whom he was seen visiting several local establishments the night before. Their movements were captured on surveillance cameras throughout the city; it appeared they were somehow acquainted, but the nature of their relationships remains unclear.

A cause of death has not been released for any of the men, who were killed at the cemetery the following morning, according to investigators.

All three bodies were near the gravesite of a man killed in Mexico last year, which Sheriff Chad Bianco said appears to be “a message for something,” though no further details have been released on who the man buried there was or how he died.

The Sheriff’s Department said it was probing whether the triple slaying is tied to cartel or gang activity, but as of last Thursday no such links had been established.

In addition to the three murder warrants, Garcia was wanted on two misdemeanor warrants: one for alleged DUI in Riverside County, and another involving drug allegations in San Mateo County, officials said.

However, despite Perris Mayor Michael Vargas initially linking the cemetery killings to recent deadly shootings across the city, investigators say Garcia is not tied to other homicide cases.

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