Riverside County

Man Arrested in Connection With Execution-Style Slayings of 3 at Perris Cemetery

The three men were found Feb. 17 at Perris Valley Cemetery.

Man with goatee pictured in mug shot
Riverside County Sheriff's Departmnet

The suspect in what authorities called an execution-style slaying of three men at a Riverside County cemetery more than a week ago was taken into custody 1,000 miles away in Wyoming, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said.

Jose Luis Torres Garcia, 33, was being sought in connection with the killings after authorities made a grim discovery of the bodies of three men at a Perris cemetery Feb. 17.

Law enforcement in Cheyenne, Wyoming, stopped a driver in a silver 2007 GMC with California license plates. Garcia was identified as the driver.

Cheyenne authorities also said they allegedly found 15 pounds of marijuana in the vehicle.

Hundreds of Perris residents expressed their concerns over an alarming spike in violence. Hetty Chang reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020.

The three men found Feb. 17 at Perris Valley Cemetery were identified as residents of Perris: Jaime Covarrubias Espindola, 50; Jose Maria Aguilar-Espejel, 38; and Rodrigo Aguilar-Espejel, 28.

Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco labeled the deaths homicides at a news conference, and added that authorities were looking into possible drug cartel or gang connections.

Authorities said the murders were meant to send a message, but could not confirm further details due to the early nature of the investigation. Tony Shin reports for the NBC4 News at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2020.

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"Three people killed at the same time, that was a message for something, whether it was for someone else or whether it was to them, three people being killed in a cemetery is not the norm," Bianco said.

Investigators have not provided details about how the men died.

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