One suspect jailed, another sought in Montebello slaying

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MONTEBELLO >> Police Sunday announced that detectives have arrested one suspect and are seeking another in connection with the slaying of a man in a Montebello parking lot last week.
Detectives arrested Martin Emmannuel Bautista, 33, of Pico Rivera Wednesday on suspicion of murder in connection with the Nov. 23 slaying, Montebello police officials announced Sunday. Alleged accomplice Eric Daniel Deleon, 28, of Pico Rivera, remained at large.
“It is believed Deleon is being assisted by acquaintances to avoid being located,” Montebello police Sgt. Julio Calleros said in a written statement.
The body of the victim, described as a man in his 50s, was discovered shortly after noon in the 300 block of South Vail Avenue, Montebello police Sgt. Larry Jackson said.
His name remained withheld over the weekend as authorities continued working to notify his family, coroner’s officials said. The man’s cause of death also remained unknown pending an autopsy.
Officials have said it appeared two men assaulted the victim, though the nature of his injuries have not been disclosed. Police distributed sketches of two possible suspects the day after the killing.
Police arrested Bautista on suspicion of the slaying about 9 p.m. Wednesday, Los Angeles County booking records show. Further details regarding the circumstances of his arrest or his alleged role in the slaying were not released.
Deleon is described as Latino, 5 feet 6 inches tall, 165 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Montebello police Detective C. Adams at 323-887-01313, ext. 256 or Detective R. Zabala at 323-887-1313, ext. 254. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers by calling 800-222-8477.
Bautista is scheduled to appear Tuesday at an arraignment hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court, records show. He was being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Montebello Police Department.

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Montebello police seeking missing woman

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MONTEBELLO >> Police asked the public’s help Friday in finding a woman with psychiatric problems who’s been missing since last weekend.
Melissa Lyne Rodarte, 25, left her home in Montebello about 8 a.m. Nov. 14 to go for a jog, Montebello police officials said in a written statement.
She sent her father a text message in the afternoon, from an unknown phone, stating that she was at a friend’s house in Bell Gardens, police said. She texted her father later that night, and again Sunday morning, telling him her friend’s car was still not working. She hasn’t been heard from since.
“It’s not unusual for Melissa to leave home and return days later. However, she always texts her father to let him know where she is,” according to the police statement. “Melissa has been diagnosed with (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and psychosis. She hasn’t taken her medication for over a month.”
Rodarte was last seen wearing gray shorts and dark-colored top. She is Latina, 5 feet 7 inches tall, 160 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Montebello police at 323-887-1313.

PHOTO of Melissa Lyne Rodarte courtesy of the Montebello Police Department.

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Montebello police seek missing, at-risk girl

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MONTEBELLO >> Police asked the public’s help in finding a distraught, at-risk teenager who disappeared after school Wednesday.
Desly Flores, 16, was last seen about 2:45 p.m. as she walked away from the Community Day School, 478 Bradshawe Street, Montebello police officials said in a written statement.
Flores was described as “upset and crying,” police said.
She is diagnosed with depression and anxiety, but refuses to take her prescribed medication,” according to the police statement. “Desly is also diabetic and takes medication twice a day. Desly also has a history of self-harming behaviors and is a habitual runaway.”
She is described as Latina, 5 feet 4 inches tall, 135 pounds, with green hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Montebello police at 323-887-1313.

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Man’s body found along riverbed in Montebello


MONTEBELLO >> Detectives are investigating the discovery of a man’s body in the Rio Hondo Riverbed in Montebello this weekend.
The body, initially described only that of a man was found about 4:20 p.m. Saturday, face-down in the water of an overflow flood control near Van Norman Road and Loch Lomond Drive, Lt. Fred Corral of the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner said.
The circumstances of the death remained unclear Sunday, officials said.
“The deceased was in advanced stages of decomposition and appears to have been at the location for an extended period of time,” Montebello police said in a written statement.
“Due to the current stage of decomposition, the cause of death, gender and or race is unknown at this time. This information will have to be determined by the coroner’s office,” according to the statement.
No obvious signs of trauma were noted on the body, Corral said. An autopsy was pending.
Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s crime lab investigators assisted Montebello police at the scene.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Montebello police at 323-887-1200.

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Montebello man charged with capital murder in fatal ‘ambush’

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LOS ANGELES >> A Montebello man accused of chasing down and fatally shooting another man while trying to rob him of a gold necklace appeared in court Thursday, where prosecutors charged him with capital murder, authorities said.
Sean Matthew Garcia, 25, is charged with murder, with the special circumstance that the killing was committed during the course of an attempted robbery, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Greg Risling said. He’s also accused of personally firing the AR-15-style rifle that killed Brian Gomez, 28, of Lynwood.
Gomez was trying to sell a gold necklace for about $2,000 when Gomez answered an online add and arranged to meet in the 1600 block of Neil Armstrong Street Monday afternoon, Montebello police and district attorney’s official said.
Montebello Police Chief Kevin McClure described the attack as an “ambush.”
After the men met, Garcia pulled an assault rifle from a nearby bush and firing toward Gomez’s feet, Risling said. Gomez ran.
AR-1509293791“When Gomez stopped and reached into his pocket to get the necklace, Garcia allegedly shot and killed the victim,” Risling said.
In addition to the slaying, Gomez is also charged with the robbery of an assault rifle in August, Risling said. Further details on that case were unavailable, and it was unclear if the allegedly stolen rifle was the same one used in Monday’s fatal shooting.
Because of the special circumstance alleged in the case, Garcia could potentially end up on death row if convicted as charged.
“Prosecutors will determine at a later date whether to seek capital punishment,” Risling said.
Garcia entered no plea Monday. His arraignment hearing was postponed to Oct. 22.

PHOTOS: [ABOVE] – Sean Garcia, 25, of Montbello (Courtesy) [BELOW] – Brian Gomez, 28, of Lynwood. (Courtesy)

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UPDATED: Montebello senior stabbed during robbery attempt outside her home


MONTEBELLO >> A senior citizen suffered serious injuries when she was stabbed during a robbery attempt outside her Montebello home late Friday, police said.
The stabbing took place about 8:20 p.m. in the 600 block of N. Hendricks Street, just north of Beverly Boulevard, Montebello police officials said in a written statement.
The victim, a woman in her mid-60s, had just arrived home, Montebello police Lt. Michael Bergman said.
“It sounds like she was trying to get in her front door. The attacker approached her,” he said.
The robber initially appeared to be after the woman’s purse, but the crime quickly escalated into a stabbing, Bergman said.
The woman had offered little resistance when the would-be robber, without provocation, stabbed her at least twice in the upper torso with a kitchen-style knife, the lieutenant said. He fled on foot, without obtaining anything from the woman.
The woman was taken to a hospital, Bergman said. “She’s in serious condition.”
A detailed suspect description was not available, police said.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Montebello police at 323-887-1313. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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UPDATED: Rosemead man seriously wounded in Montebello stabbing: suspect jailed


A man showed up at a Montebello emergency room with serious wounds early Saturday following a stabbing in a nearby residential neighborhood, police said.
Police were notified about 1:40 a.m. that a stabbing victim had arrived at Beverly Hospital, Montebello police officials said in a written statement.
The victim, a 31-year-old Rosemead man, was hospitalized in serious condition with several stab wounds, Lt. Andy Vuncannon said.
“Officers were able to obtain information from various sources that the assault may have occurred at a specific residence in the 500 block of North 6th Street,” according to the statement.
After finding evidence believed related to the stabbing outside and nearby the home, investigators detained a 38-year-old Montebello man found there for questioning, police said. The knife believed to have been used in the stabbing was recovered from the home.
After further investigation, police booked Victor Vasquez on suspicion of attempted murder, Vuncannon said.
The suspect and victim knew one another, and the stabbing may have stemmed from a business dispute between the two men, the lieutenant said.
According to county booking records, Vasquez was being held in lieu of $1 million bail pending his initial court appearance.

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Montebello police planning weekend checkpoint

MONTEBELLO >> Police plan to screen drivers for sobriety and valid licenses this weekend during a checkpoint in Montebello, authorities said.
The checkpoint will be held from 7 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location within the city, Montebello police officials said in a written statement.
Over the past three years, DUI-related collisions in Montebello have claimed eight lives and resulted 1,057 injuries, according to Sgt. Larry Jackson.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety.

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Montebello man sought for child annoyance arrested

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MONTEBELLO >> Tips from the public helped police arrest a man sought following suspicious encounters with girls in Montebello in recent days.
Officers arrested Jose Ismael Amaya, 67, of Montebello about 10:50 a.m. Friday in the area of Telegraph Road and Greenwood Avenue, Montebello police officials said.
Police released a suspect photo taken from a surveillance camera Wednesday after two girls reported a man had behaved inappropriately with them.
A 16-year-old girl told police he had kissed her on the cheek and otherwise harassed her at a bus stop, police said in a written statement. And a 12-year-old girl reported he had tried to offer her money at a convenience store.
Detectives identified Amaya as the man pictured in the surveillance photo Thursday, officials said.
“Investigators also located a third victim, age 11, who also alleged being annoyed by the same suspect,” according to the statement.
0903_NWS_SGT-L-ANNOYA tipster called police Friday morning after spotting a man resembling the man in the surveillance photo after seeing the image in the news, officials said.”
Officers arrested Amaya on suspicion of child annoyance, as well as other unrelated charges, police added.
Police thanked the public for its help.
“Throughout this investigation, social media as well as the various news outlets have been instrumental in bringing this case to a rapid conclusion,” according to the police statement.
Amaya was expected to remain in custody pending his initial court appearance.

PHOTOS courtesy of the Montebello Police Department.

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Man sought after suspicious encounters with girls in Montebello

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MONTEBELLO >> Police are seeking a man who harassed two girls in two separate incidents in Montebello Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
The first suspicious encounter took place about 1 p.m. at a bus stop at Whittier and Montebello boulevards, Montebello police officials said in a written statement. A man in his 50s approached a teenage girl.
“The unknown suspect kissed a 16-year-old girl on the cheek and further annoyed her as she waited for the bus,” the statement said. The frightened teen got onto a bus to get away from the man.
A second incident was reported about 3:30 p.m. at a liquor store just over a mile away at Whittier Boulevard and 3rd Street, police said.
“The same suspect spoke with a 12-year-old victim and offered her money,” according to the statement. “The victim became scared and ran from the location to her home and reported the incident to her mother.”
Investigators released a surveillance camera image of the suspect retrieved from the liquor store in hopes of generating leads from the public.
He’s described as a Latino man in his 50s, wearing a red soccer jersey, beige pants and a black backpack or shoulder bag. He also had dark hair and wore black framed glasses.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Montebello police Detective Valle at 323-887-1200, ext. 255, or email fvalle@cityofmontebello.com.

PHOTO courtesy of the Montebello Police Department.

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