Vigil Held to Remember Groom Beaten to Death Hours After Wedding in Chino

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Family and friends joined together to remember a life cut tragically short after a groom was beaten to death at this own wedding reception over the weekend.

Joe Melgoza, 30, had completed his nuptials just hours before he was killed on Sunday.  He was killed as his wedding reception, held in a backyard on the 13200 block of 17th Street, was coming to an end, Chino police said on Monday.

Joe Melgoza is seen in an undated photo posted to a GoFundMe page.
Joe Melgoza is seen in an undated photo posted to a GoFundMe page.

Two brothers, identified as Tony and Josue Castaneda Ramirez, turned up to the wedding reception, uninvited, and took advantage of the free food and drinks, family members told KTLA.

Once the party was winding down, both men were asked to leave, which they did, but only to return with bats and then proceeded to beat Melgoza to death.

Jessica Bustamante, the bride’s cousin, had expressed her sorrow for the now-widowed bride,

“My cousin had been through a lot before Joe. She had been through a lot, we thought she was never going to find anybody again. She did and he was taken from her,” Bustamante said, holding back tears.

She also recalled some of the conversation she had with Melgoza before he was killed,

“We were here setting up and he was saying, ‘Oh I’m nervous, the only thing I’m nervous about is dancing because I’m not a good dancer,’ but he danced the whole night away,” Bustamante said.

A GoFundMe campaign set up to raise money for Melgoza’s funeral describes him as a son, brother, cousin, partner and father who leaves behind a daughter.

The relationship between Melgoza and the two men is unclear.

The brothers were arrested Sunday afternoon after detectives served a search warrant at their residence in the 5800 block of Chino Avenue.

Both are being held without bail on suspicion of murder and scheduled to appear in court Tuesday, inmate records show.

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