Arrest: Tips lead police to break in Robles' case
Two weeks ago, the Los Angeles Police Department released video footage of Darlene Robles, a 17-year-old Latina, who was abandoned by three unknown people in the early morning hours of April 6 at the emergency room of the Kaiser Permanente in Panorama City. Robles, who had been shot, died at the hospital that day.
Authorities asked for the public's help in identifying the two men and one woman seen in the tape. Investigators believed the individuals had information about what led up to Robles' killing.
Ed Winter, spokesman for the Los Angeles County coroner's office, said the preliminary coroner's report described Robles as having been shot while trying to break into a vehicle. Investigators declined to confirm that information pending the ongoing investigation.
Through anonymous tips, police said they were able to identify Michael Gonzalez, a 24-year-old Latino, and Alejandro Aguirre, a 26-year-old Latino, as two of the people who had taken Robles to the hospital. They were arrested within 10 days of each other and each has been charged with one count of murder and one count of burglary.
LAPD Van Nuys Det. Marc Martinez said authorities also have identified the female who was with the group and are working with the district attorney’s office to decide whether to press charges.
Martinez declined to comment about details of the shooting, including whether it occurred in the commission of a crime.
According to the felony complaint provided by the district attorney’s office, Gonzalez and Aguirre have prior criminal histories.
Since 2006, Gonzalez has been convicted of grand theft auto, possession of a controlled substance and three counts of burglary. In the last three years, Aguirre has had two burglary convictions.
Both men are being held at the Men’s Central Jail downtown. Their next court appearance is scheduled for May 25 at the Van Nuys Municipal Court.
-- Sarah Ardalani