Two Santee brothers were in custody, accused of murder, torture, robbery and kidnapping in a beating that ultimately took a homeless man’s life, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department officials said.
George Lowery, 50, was beaten with "fists and feet" in an assault on Sunday that homicide investigators describe as "a very horrific event."
Lowery was found in the riverbed just west of Chubb Lane and N. Magnolia Avenue at 5:19 p.m. officials said. He and his wife lived there as part of a homeless encampment.
Lowery's wife returned from a trip to a store and found her husband unconscious with trauma to his head, deputies said. She cried out for help and someone used a cell phone to call 911.
Lowery was taken to a nearby local hospital but succumbed to his injuries five days later.
On Thursday, deputies arrested brothers Austin Mostrong, 20 and Preston Mostrong, 19, in connection with the crime.
"We don’t believe this is a random act," said Lt. Kenneth Nelson, SD County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Detail. "We believe he was targeted."
Physical evidence at the scene and witness statements led investigators to the brothers, Nelson said.
On April 20, there was an altercation between Austin and another resident of the river bottom, deputies said. Investigators say Lowery did not fight with Austin but may have had some involvement in that incident.
When asked to explain charges of torture and kidnapping, Nelson said, "We believe those charges are appropriate based on movement of the victim at the crime scene."
Anyone with information about this incident can call the Homicide Detail at (858) 974-2321/after hours at (858) 565-5200.