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Man Held in Killing of Neighbor

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SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

A 21-year-old Santa Paula man has been arrested in Colorado on suspicion of beating his neighbor to death, authorities said Friday.

Margarito Hernandez Valdez was arrested Thursday afternoon outside an apartment complex in Northglenn, Colo., said Northglenn Police Det. Cindi Grein.

Authorities were tipped to his whereabouts after Valdez called someone in Santa Paula and asked for the phone number of friends who live in Northglenn, said Sgt. Carlos Juarez of the Santa Paula Police Department.

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Valdez was being held Friday night on $250,000 bail in Adams County, Colo., jail. He is expected to be extradited to California next week.

Valdez is suspected of killing 52-year-old Jose Trinidad Lopez Manzo, also of Santa Paula, whose body was found Tuesday night in a wooded area in the 800 block of Ojai Road, near Mill Park.

Police believed the victim died from a beating to the head two days earlier.

Large rocks in the area of the body were covered in blood, Juarez said..

According to police, Lopez Manzo, a married father of four, and Valdez were neighbors in an apartment complex in the 1300 block of Orchard Street in Santa Paula.

They were last seen walking from the complex Sunday afternoon toward the park a block away, police said. When Lopez Manzo failed to return home, his wife reported him missing.

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