Yet another arrest made in Figueroa slaying
Another man wanted by police in connection with the homicide of 29-year-old Christal Figueroa has been arrested.
Figueroa's body was found March 22 in a citrus grove near County 17th Street and Avenue 2E. The mother of three had been shot 16 times with three different weapons.
Jorge “Pelon” Rios, 20, was arrested by the San Luis Police Department after a vehicle pursuit Saturday afternoon.
According to SLPD, at about 3:20 p.m., an officer spotted a Jeep that had recently been reported as stolen being driven near Juan Sanchez Boulevard and 8th Avenue in San Luis, Ariz. The officer attempted to pull the Jeep over, but the driver allegedly refused, leading to a vehicle pursuit.
A short time later, while allegedly fleeing along a dirt road behind a subdivision in the area of the 1200 block of East America Street, the driver lost control of the vehicle, and it came to a halt in front of a brick fence. The driver then fled on foot.
SLPD officers were able to catch the driver and arrest him. They later identified him as Rios.
Officers, including a K-9 Team, searched the area for other possible occupants of the stolen Jeep that may have fled. No others had been found as of Saturday afternoon, although police continued to search the area.
Rios was turned over to the Yuma Police Department but may face charges in San Luis of unlawful flight from law enforcement and possession of a stolen vehicle.
Several arrests have been made in the Figueroa case. Five others are in custody, all facing charges for their alleged roles before and after the homicide.
On Wednesday, 36-year-old Jeffery Miller, of Yuma, was taken into custody in the 1300 block of East 26th Street for allegedly lying to investigators and for attempting to dispose of potential evidence police have linked to the homicide.
Police said the alleged evidence belongs to Jose “Rascal” Jimenez, the chief suspect in the homicide.
Jimenez was arrested by Yuma County sheriff's deputies at about 1:30 a.m. March 31 at a residence in the 900 block of South Avenue C. He was found hiding in a shower stall behind a shower curtain.
Jimenez, who has been identified as Figueroa's ex-boyfriend, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder per domestic violence, one count of criminal damage and one misdemeanor count of striking an unattended vehicle. He was also charged with one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of unlawful flight from law enforcement in a separate case.
Brothers Jose and Daniel Torrez, who allegedly hid Jimenez in their home and were also arrested March 31, have each been charged with one count of hindering prosecution. Both had previously been questioned about their possible connection to the case and about Jimenez's whereabouts, but were later released pending further investigation.
Deputies became suspicious of the Torrez brothers when they went to their home looking for Jimenez, because as each came outside they closed the door behind them and locked it. Eventually deputies were given permission by another resident to search the home, at which time they found Jimenez and took him into custody.
Brandi Michalski, who was arrested on March 26 after allegedly being involved in a hit-and-run incident involving a black Escalade later linked to the homicide, has been charged with hindering prosecution and one felony count of tampering with physical evidence.
She had previously been arrested March 22 but later released from jail because no charges in connection with the hit-and-run had been filed against her at the time.
The Figueroa homicide is still an active case and investigators continue to follow-up on any leads or information related to it, police said.
YPD urges anyone who may have information about the case to contact detectives. The department has also issued a warning to anyone who may be involved that anyone lying or hiding potential evidence will be subject to arrest for hindering prosecution.
Anyone with any information about this case can call Sgt. Ron Rodriguez at 373-4678, or 78-CRIME to remain anonymous.
Chris McDaniel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6849.