A man accused of trying to kidnap a teenage girl from Riverside in August was found dead in a Guatemalan jail cell on Tuesday, authorities announced.
Henry "Oscar" Mazariegos-Gonzalez, of Riverside, was arrested on April 19 for allegedly kidnapping and sexually assaulting two girls, one 5 years old and the other 12, and kidnapping a 9-year-old boy in the Guatemalan town of Santa Lucia Cotzumalguesta, according to a Riverside Police Department news release.
The 29-year-old Mazariegos-Gonzalez is also believed to have allegedly tried to kidnap a 14-year old girl, identified only as Estella by NBC4 due to her age, in Riverside while she was walking to her tennis class. During the August 6 morning attack, which took place in Riverside’s Arlanza neighborhood, a man grabbed the girl and hit her with a hammer multiple times while trying to force her into his vehicle.
"He grabbed me by the neck, put me in a chokehold," Estella said after the attack. "He was strangling me and he was telling me, 'Get in, get in.' He started telling me, 'I'm going to kill you, I’m going to kill you.' That’s when he started hitting me with the hammer."
The man dropped his hammer to try and choke Estella, she said, allowing her to pick it up and strike him with it. The counter-attacked worked, giving her the opportunity to run away.
Riverside police located the man’s vehicle within a day and later identified the suspect as Mazariegos-Gonzalez. However, investigators believed he had left the country after the attempted kidnapping.
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After Mazariegos-Gonzalez was arrested in Guatemala and the extradition process had begun, Guatemalan authorities told the Department of Justice that he was found dead in his jail cell, according to Riverside police.
"It's unfortunate this suspect was able to victimize other children before he was brought to justice," said Riverside Police Chief Larry Gonzalez in a news release. "But we are glad he will never be able to again."
Local police said Mazariegos-Gonzales died by suicide, according to Ryan Railsback, Riverside PD public information officer.
He also said that video of Mazariegos-Gonzales’ arrest in Guatemala showed local residents throwing rocks at him.