Hitchhiker wearing bloody clothes arrested in man’s stabbing death

Jonathan Padilla
San Bernardino County authorities have arrested Jonathan Padilla, 24, in connection with the death of a man whose body was found in a flood-control channel near a Highland home.
(San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department)

A man who flagged down a Highland resident for a ride is behind bars after the driver noticed his clothes were covered in blood and notified police.

Authorities say Jonathan Padilla, 24, walked out of a flood-control channel Monday on Mira Vista Avenue and asked a man who was leaving his house to take him to San Bernardino.

The resident agreed, and when Padilla got in the car, the driver noticed blood on his passenger’s clothes as well as “other evidence indicating a serious assault occurred,” the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

After returning home that night, the driver called authorities, who then searched the area and found the body of a man who had been stabbed to death in the nearby Highland Creek channel.

Sheriff’s officials said Padilla, whom they described as a transient, attacked the victim and then fled to a nearby house before asking a neighbor for a ride.


Detectives tracked Padilla to a house in Los Angeles, where he was arrested on suspicion of murder Tuesday. According to inmate records, he also is accused of being in possession of burglary tools. He is being held in San Bernardino County’s Central Detention Center in lieu of $1-million bail.