After a six-month investigation, sheriff’s detectives have arrested a man and woman from Apple Valley in the shooting death of 19-year-old Raquel Rayas at Deep Creek.
Sheriff’s detectives say the two suspects, Joseph Villa and Angela Lucia Sanchez, knew the victim. But detectives did not release any motive that the pair may have had in Rayas’ death, said Cindy Bachman, a sheriff’s spokeswoman.
Villa, 23, and Sanchez, 38, pleaded not guilty to murder charges at their arraignments Wednesday in Victorville Superior Court, according to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.
Detectives say Rayas was suffering from a gunshot wound when a passer-by found her at 3:30 p.m. on May 17. She was flown to a hospital, where she died the next day.
Deep Creek is located in unincorporated Apple Valley.
After months of following up on leads, conducting interviews and seeking additional information, detectives located Villa and Sanchez.
“Over the course of the investigation, Joseph Villa was identified as the primary suspect involved in the murder of Raquel Rayas,” according to the statement.
Bachman said detectives described Villa and Sanchez as “associates,” but they are releasing few details about Rayas’ death.
On Monday, detectives with the sheriff’s Specialized Enforcement Detail found and arrested Villa at a social services office in Victorville. He was booked later that day into West Valley Detention Center, in Rancho Cucamonga, on suspicion of murder.
Sanchez agreed to meet with detectives Monday at sheriff’s headquarters in San Bernardino. She was later booked on suspicion of murder into Central Detention Center in San Bernardino.
Villa is being held in lieu of $1 million bail, while Sanchez is being held without bail, according to the sheriff’s department.
Villa returns to court Monday to confirm the appointment of his lawyer, while Sanchez doesn’t return to court until Nov. 28.
Anyone with information about Rayas’ death is asked to contact Detective Ryan Ford at 909-387-3589 or 909-387-8313. Callers wanting to remain anonymous can contact We-Tip at 800-782-4763 or via its website at www.wetip.com.