The Board of Supervisors this week renewed a $20,000 reward for information that helps solve the slayings of three people whose remains were found buried in the Antelope Valley.
A prime suspect was killed by U.S. marshals, but detectives say they are investigating others with possible ties to the deaths of Jose Lara, 65; Cuauhtemoc Lara, 39; and 49-year-old Julieta Arvizu.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger recommended renewing the reward, which was set to expire March 10.
The elder Lara’s vehicle was found abandoned on Feb. 5, 2018, in Littlerock, an unincorporated area of the Antelope Valley where all three lived. They disappeared without warning to family or friends, leaving behind what seemed to be all their possessions. Their cellphones were turned off and had not been used since the date they vanished.
Then, on Oct. 11, human remains were discovered at a property in the 30900 block of 106th Street in the unincorporated area of Littlerock known as Juniper Hills. At the time, authorities did not disclose how the remains came to light nor whether the grisly find was related to the trio’s disappearance, but a spokesman for Barger confirmed that the bodies were those of the missing men and woman.
Jesus “Chuy” Guzman, 34, was named as a person of interest in those deaths, as well as the murders of Gerard “Jerry” De Luna and Mariano Campos on Feb. 20, 2018, in the 11000 block of Hample Avenue, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
U.S. marshals closed in on Guzman near the California/Nevada border on Nov. 8.
Authorities said Guzman pointed a gun at deputies who were conducting a fugitive apprehension operation in Charleston View in Inyo County, about 60 miles west of Las Vegas, leading to a deputy-involved shooting. Guzman was pronounced dead at the scene and a weapon was recovered.
Someone had come forward with information on Guzman’s whereabouts, entitling them to at least some of the reward money, but investigators are still seeking information on other suspects who may be involved in the Littlerock killings. Guzman was also wanted in Riverside County in connection with the home invasion robbery and killing of Silvano Esteves, 43, of Menifee, according to authorities there.
Investigators found a large amount of marijuana on Esteves’ property located in the 27700 block of Monroe Avenue and believe Guzman and Rodolfo Garcia targeted Esteves as a result, Mendez said. Garcia was arrested Oct. 28.
Anyone with additional information about the Littlerock case was asked to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477).