ONTARIO (CBSLA.com) — Three men have been arrested and charged with the murder of an OC truck driver who went missing in September 2012.
Ontario Police announced Thursday they arrested Salvador Maldonado, a 37-year-old Ontario man for his alleged involvement. Two other suspects — Ivan Isaac Vasquez, 29, and Daniel Angel Chavez, 35 — were already in custody on an unrelated drug charge.
Oscar Javier Contreras Escobar was reported as a missing person to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in September 2012.
Escobar, a self employed truck driver, was last seen on August 28th when he was dropped off by a friend in the area of Mango Avenue and Foothill Boulevard in the city of Fontana.
Ontario Police Detectives took over the investigation in November of 2012.
Detectives found suspicious activity on Escobar’s ATM card that they said eventually led them to an Ontario residence in the 1700 Block of South Palm Avenue.
During February of this year, detectives served a search warrant at the residence that included excavation of the back yard. That search yielded what is believed to be bone and tooth fragments. Those items were forwarded to the San Bernardino County Coroner’s Office for further analysis to determine if they are remains of the missing man.
Although DNA processing has not been completed, detectives said other evidence led to the identification of three men.
Officials say the District Attorney will add an additional gang enhancement charge against all three suspects.
Detectives believe that Escobar was lured to an unidentified location in Ontario, kidnapped and beaten before being moved to the South Palm Avenue residence. Investigators believe this was done in an attempt to obtain information about drugs and money.
The exact cause of Escobar’s death is still under investigation.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Ontario Police Detective Chris Martinez at (909) 395-2733.