MURRIETA (CBSLA.com) — A Perris man has been charged with three counts of murder for allegedly killing a mother and daughter who were out for a walk, as well as a man who was walking his dog.
David Rey Contreras, 25, was arrested Wednesday in connection with the December 2012 murder of Jose Apreza and the February 2013 murders of Maria and Consuelo Gonzalez.
In both cases, the victims were said to have gone for a walk when they allegedly encountered Contreras. Coroner’s autopsies revealed that all three victims suffered multiple stab wounds.
Jose Apreza, 53, was reported missing by his wife after he failed to return from an early morning walk with his dog on Dec. 29. His body was later found in a large open field near Evans Road and Orange Avenue in Perris.
In February, 51-year-old Maria Gonzalez and her 25-year-old daughter, Consuelo, were walking in the rural community of Nuevo east of Perris when they were attacked.
Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call of a stabbing on Central Avenue at Menifee Road and found the two women lying in the street. The elder Gonzalez was pronounced dead at the scene and her daughter died on the way to the hospital.
All three counts against Contreras carry sentencing enhancements of personally using a deadly weapon. He also faces a sentencing enhancement for multiple murders, and in the case of the mother and daughter, allegations of lying in wait.
The multiple murders and lying in wait enhancements qualify Contreras for the death penalty if convicted. Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach will make the decision of whether to seek the death penalty at a later date.
Contreras is being held without bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Friday.