A woman reacted with mixed emotions Thursday after sheriff's investigators announced the arrests of a father and son in connection with her little brother's slaying in East LA more than seven years ago.
Maria Avalos got the news early Thursday. She worried the memory of Jesse Avalos was lost to history and time. She's relieved that closure could come, but is also angry in knowing her brother's alleged killer lived so close for all this time.
"I never thought this day would come," she said.
The Sheriff's Department served a search warrant on Humphreys Avenue in East LA Thursday morning and arrested 31-year-old Anthony Velasquez on murder charges and his 51-year-old father Manuel Velasquez as an accessory to not just Avalos' murder - but two more - Eduardo Robles in 2015 and Amanda "Nikki" Lopez in 2018.
Investigators credit a media display last month which shared evidence, a possible vehicle description, sketches of possible suspects - and an $80,000 reward for information.
"Right after that press conference the 18th of August, we started getting a lot of phone calls to our desk with leads and tips to each one of these murders," said Detective Hugo Reynaga.
Maria Avalos said three days before her brother was killed, he had gotten into a fight with somebody in the front yard.
U.S. & World
"I don't know if these are the guys," she said. "But it goes with the M.O. of the second victim where they had a fist fight and then came back and shot him."