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Suspect in Riverside County cemetery killings arrested in Wyoming

Jose Luis Torres Garcia, wanted in connection with killings at Riverside County cemetery
This wanted poster provided by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department shows Jose Luis Torres Garcia.
(Riverside County Sheriff’s Department)

A man wanted on suspicion of killing three people in a Riverside County cemetery was arrested Thursday during a traffic stop in Wyoming, authorities said.

Jose Luis Torres Garcia was taken into custody in Cheyenne, Wyo., according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. Officials also said they discovered 15 pounds of marijuana in the vehicle.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol pulled over and arrested Garcia after spotting a GMC Yukon on Interstate 80 east of Cheyenne, patrol spokesman Sgt. Jeremy Beck said. Riverside authorities had earlier asked law enforcement and the public to look for the Yukon.

The three victims — Jaime Covarrubias Espindola, 50; Jose Maria Aguilar-Espejel, 38; and Rodrigo Aguilar-Espejel, 28 — were killed at the same time in Perris. Their bodies were found Feb. 17 at the Perris Valley Cemetery.

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Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco has said Garcia, 33, acted alone and knew the three victims. They were discovered near the grave of a man who died in Mexico. Officials have not said whether a relationship existed between the person buried there and the victims.

Riverside authorities had put out a warrant for Garcia’s arrest Feb. 20, saying he was “armed and very dangerous.” Officials have said they did not know Garcia’s motive in the slayings.

The sheriff has said Garcia has ties to San Jose and Mexico. He has been deported twice. But authorities have not determined his current immigration status. There were already two misdemeanor warrants out for his arrest regarding other cases.

It was not immediately clear if Garcia had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.


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