It’s a case that has been cold for more than 14 years. But today, three men were arrested in connection with the death of a correctional officer in Anaheim. One of the men arrested was the officer’s husband.
Elizabeth Begaren, who was 40, worked at the prison in Lancaster. She was shot on Jan. 17, 1998, as she and her husband, Nuzzio Begaren, 50, drove on an offramp of the 91 Freeway in Anaheim. They were with his 10-year-old daughter from a previous marriage.
Initially, Begaran said his wife had been chased by four gang members and that she got out of the car to save her family.
Begaren was arrested in Rancho Cucamonga early Monday on suspicion of murdering his wife for financial gain, Sgt. Bob Dunn of the Anaheim Police Department said.
Anaheim police tell NBC4 he killed his wife over a $1 million life insurance policy.
"Mr. Begaran did receive $900,000 in an insurance policy in the death of his spouse," said Anaheim deputy police chief Craig Hunter.
In addition to Begaran, Anaheim police arrested Rafael Garcia Miranda, 45, Jose Luis Sandoval, 36, and are still looking for a fourth suspect, Guillermo Espinoza, 36.
"Nuzzio is being held on murder for purpose on financial gain," Dunn said. "The other two suspects are in custody for murder as well as street terrorism charges. And there is a warrant for murder for Mr. Espinoza."
At one point in 1998, police were so desperate for evidence they actually closed the 91 Freeway and had cadets and explorers crawl on their hands and knees looking for something that would lead them to a killer.