Authorities in Colorado on Thursday arrested a girlfriend of a Victorville woman who along with her two sons were found killed in a desert area in Apple Valley.
The body of Erlinda Villareal, 42, and her two sons, ages 9 and 12, were found by a pedestrian on Wednesday night. Since the discovery, authorities have been searching for their murder suspect, Villareal’s girlfriend, Louis Gabriel Lucero, 35, also from Victorville.
On Wednesday morning, the deputies responded to Villareal’s home on Ferndale Road where they found signs of struggle, said the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
Villareal shares a house with Lucero, the department said. But when the deputies arrived, Villareal of Lucero was not at home. Investigators learned that the couple had not been seen or heard since that morning.
At 5:36 pm the Sheriff’s Dispatcher got a call from an off-roader in the desert near Waalew Road and Corwin Road in Apple Valley reported the discovery of three bodies.
Homicide detectives believe that the woman and her sons left Victorville’s house with Lucero, were killed in an unknown location, then left in the desert.
Law enforcement began looking for Lucero, who was considered armed and dangerous, and is believed to have escaped in the 2008 Ford Explorer silver.
On Thursday around 12:23 pm, authorities arrested Lucero about 800 miles northeast of Victorville in Eagle County, Colorado on an unrelated charge, the sheriff’s department said. He will be detained on current charges, along with a warrant for triple kill.
Lucero will be scheduled for an extradition hearing before returning to San Bernardino County, the department said.
Investigators said the two boys killed were Villareal’s sons, but not Lucero, sheriff spokesman Cynthia Bachman said on Thursday. Their names are kept secret until identified by the coroner.
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