A previously arrested illegal alien in Nevada was just arrested in connection with four grisly murders that occurred over the past two weeks, police say.
According to the Nevada Independent, Wilbur Ernesto Martinez Guzman, who’s either 19 or 20 years old, was taken into custody Saturday afternoon in Washoe County on suspicion of burglary, possession of stolen property and immigration violations. Now, the sheriff’s department is saying authorities have also linked Guzman to four Reno-area killings.
The murder spree started in Gardnerville, where Connie Koontz, 56, was found murdered in her home where she lived alone on January 10. Just a few miles down the road, Sophia Renken, 74, was also found dead in her home on January 13. Two days later, on January 15, 81-year-old Gerald David and 80-year-old Sharon David were found dead inside their South Reno home some 50 miles away from the first two crime scenes.
Guzman, who police say they'd been surveilling as a person of interest in the case, was arrested after immigration officials told local law enforcement that he was in the country illegally and could be taken into custody based on immigration violations. While little is known about Guzman’s criminal history, his presence in the ICE immigration database suggests he’s been arrested at least once, even if only for immigration violations.
After making the arrest, police obtained search warrants for Guzman's apartment and his car. Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam now says that based on the evidence they found, authorities have linked Guzman to all four killings, which had prompted FBI involvement and spurred an increase in local gun sales.
“At this stage in the investigation, we feel confident we have the evidence that will link him to all four homicides,” Balaam said during a press conference Sunday.
According to local reports, Guzman is being held in the Carson City Detention Center and is under 24-hour watch. Police say they plan to formally charge Guzman with the murders later this week.