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Execution-Style Killing Baffles Police, Survivor : Slaying: Four masked intruders demanded to know the whereabouts of unidentified couple. The victim’s brother escaped.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

An execution-style slaying by four masked men who barged into a house has baffled police, because the only witness--the slain man’s brother--says he didn’t understand what the attackers were demanding or why.

Police said Friday that the two brothers were preparing dinner at 1025 N. Flower St. about 6:30 p.m. when four men wearing stocking masks entered through the rear door.

The intruders “demanded to know the whereabouts of a particular couple,” police spokeswoman Maureen Haacker said.

“The young brother is just telling us he does not know what they meant by that.”

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One of the men stabbed the younger brother, Jesus Mejia Morfin, 17, once in the thigh with a 6-inch knife and another pistol-whipped him, police said. Then they bound his wrists with tape, Haacker said.

Morfin told police that he escaped through a rear window of the house as his brother, 31-year-old Reymundo Mejia Morfin, was taken to the front yard and shot in the face. He died at the scene.

Maria Cardenas, who manages the rental house and an adjacent apartment complex, said the younger Mejia ran to her apartment seeking help.

“He came and he was bleeding,” Cardenas said, “and he told me to call police because somebody was shooting or somebody was killed.”

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She “didn’t even know they were living there,” Cardenas said of the Morfin brothers. She learned later they had been staying at the house for the last two weeks.

But she said she had not seen the legal tenants of the house--a man, woman and two children--for a couple of months.

“I don’t know the real story,” Cardenas said, “but I know that we know something was going on there for the last three weeks. People were here that we don’t know, cars here that we don’t know. They didn’t belong here.”

Although Cardenas said the house was filled with furniture the last time she entered it about five months ago, it was almost empty Friday. Among the few items in the living room were a chair, a television set, a telephone and dumbbells.

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It was during their brief conversation before police arrived, Cardenas said, that she learned the pair had been staying at the house. Someone else paid the rent for the tenants at the beginning of the month, she added.


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