Jose Jorge Lara Paez, 66
Jose Jorge Lara Paez, a 66-year-old Latino, was pronounced dead on Thursday, Oct. 11, after his body was found in the 30900 block of East 106th Street in the Southeast Antelope Valley community of Littlerock, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records.
Investigators have not released any details about Lara Paez's death except to confirm that his was one of five decomposed bodies found on the property, and one of eight homicides connected to the suspected drug dealer who rented the house, Jesus "Chuy" Guzman, 34.
Guzman was evicted from the property on Aug. 30, the same day Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators served a search warrant there, said Det. David Gunner. Guzman was not home at the time, he said.
Investigators found evidence of methamphetamine production, weapons and stolen trucks and trailers on the property on Aug. 30, but it wasn't until Oct. 11 that they discovered the remains of Lara Paez and two other people.
The partial remains of two additional people were found on a different part of the property around Oct. 22, Gunner said.
On Nov. 2, coroner's investigators identified two of the bodies found on Oct. 11 as those of Lara Paez and his friend Julieta Arvizu, 49, also of Littlerock.
The two went missing on Jan. 14, along with Arvizu's boyfriend Cuauhtemoc Lara, 39. Investigators found Lara Paez's car abandoned in a Littlerock neighborhood around March 5, where neighbors said it had sat for a month and a half.
Arvizu and Lara had been a couple for about a year, Gunner said, living together in a trailer near the intersection of Pearblossom Highway and 72nd Street East in Littlerock, about seven miles northwest of where the bodies were found.
Lara Paez was their friend who would stay with the couple from time to time when he and his wife were quarreling, Gunner said.
Family and investigators suspected foul play after discovering the three friends left behind all their possessions and had no activity on their cellphones after Jan. 14, according to a department news release. In April, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest an conviction of the people responsible for their disappearance.
People referred to Lara Paez as "the Mechanic," Gunner said, and he worked odd jobs fixing vehicles. He also had a place where he stayed in Lake Los Angeles, northeast of Littlerock.
Guzman, a Latino who is 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs 150 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, is still at large. He is known to frequent Littlerock, Adelanto, Victorville, Riverside and Compton, according to sheriff's investigators, and drives a black 2009 Toyota Corolla with California license plate of 6SCD663.
Investigators also want to question Guzman about the Feb. 20 shooting deaths of Mariano Panduro Campos, 41, and Gerardo "Jerry" De Luna, 33, on Campos' property in the 11000 block of Hampel Avenue in Littlerock.
Guzman knew Campos and De Luna "socially," Lt. Joe Mendoza said, and investigators want to ask him what he might know about their deaths. It's not clear what, if any, connection Campos and De Luna had to Lara Paez, Arvizu and Lara, Mendoza said.
The Riverside County Sheriff's Department has also named Guzman as one of two suspects in the home invasion robbery that killed Silvano Gutierrez Esteves, 43, in his Menifee home shortly after midnight on Feb. 5.
Menifee is a small community along the 215 Freeway, about 27 miles southeast of Riverside.
Investigators suspect the robbery was prompted by the large amount of marijuana they found on Esteves' property, according to a Riverside County Sheriff's Department news release.
The other suspect in the Menifee case, Rodolfo Garcia, 35, was arrested at his Perris home on Oct 29 when the sheriff's SWAT team executed a "high-risk search warrant" in the 21600 block of Club Drive, according to the release. Garcia was booked and has been charged with murder in connection with Esteves' death.
Guzman is believed to be armed and dangerous. If you spot him, call 911 immediately and don't try to apprehend him by yourself, investigators said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500 or Riverside County Sheriff’s investigator Martin Alfaro at (760) 393-3528. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.