3 missing Bakersfield men found in Burbank car were shot to death, coroner says

Law enforcement investigators examine the scene April 17 after three bodies were found in a vehicle on South Varney Street in Burbank.
(Tim Berger / Staff Photographer)

Three men whose bodies were found in an abandoned car in Burbank on April 17 all died from gunshot wounds to the head, authorities said Monday.

Jan Carlos Amiama, 21, his brother Lucas Josh Amiama, 23, and Carlos Elias Lopez, 32, were reported missing from the Bakersfield area the previous weekend before their bodies were found in a Burbank industrial park. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office said the brothers died from multiple gunshot wounds to their heads while Lopez received a single gunshot to his head.

Their deaths were ruled as homicides.

Their bodies were discovered just after 7 a.m. April 17 in the 1300 block of South Varney Street after a parking officer responded to a complaint about a Jeep Patriot that had not been moved in a while.

Sgt. Derek Green, a spokesman with the Burbank Police Department, said the officer noticed an odor coming from the car and saw a person inside who appeared to be dead.

Investigators immediately deemed the deaths “highly suspicious,” Green said.

According to the Amiama brothers’ family, the three men were on their way to a Riverside home before they went missing.

By late last week deputies with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department obtained a search warrant for a home in the 5200 block of Stone Avenue where the men were said to have gone.

Enough evidence was found in the home to suggest a crime involving the three men had taken place there, according to a statement from the sheriff’s department.

Los Angeles Times reporter James Queally contributed to this report.

Twitter: @Andy_Truc


April 24, 2:45 p.m.: This article was updated with clarifying information on how the three men died.

This article was originally published on April 23 at 2:35 p.m.