Sheriff’s Office arrest second man in connection with triple murder near Kent; others could be involved as well

The King County Sheriff's Office arrested a second suspect Thursday in connection with the shooting deaths of three men in unincorporated Kent and expect at least one more man also could have been involved with the deaths of the men.

The King County Sheriff’s Office arrested a second suspect Thursday in connection with the shooting deaths of three men in unincorporated Kent and expect at least one more man also could have been involved with the deaths of the men.

A 25-year-old Kent man was arrested in the Tukwila area for investigation of three counts of murder and kidnapping and booked into the King County jail in Seattle, according to a Sheriff’s Office media release on Friday.

No charges have been filed yet against the Kent man. He is being held on $5 million bail. Charges must be filed by May 16.

King County prosecutors Thursday charged a 36-year-old Lakewood man with three counts of first-degree murder in connection with the Dec. 12 shooting deaths of the three Pierce County men whose bodies were found March 10 at a plant nursery off the West Valley Highway.

Alberto Avila-Cardenas, of Lakewood, is currently in federal custody on charges unrelated to the killings. His bail has been set at $10 million.

The bodies of the three men were found by an employee of Rainier Nursery near the West Valley Highway, in the 26200 block of 65th Avenue South. The three men had been shot in the head and then buried. Their hands were bound.

The men are Jesus Avila-Bejar, 25; Yazmani Quezada-Ortiz, 26; and Cristian Rangel, 19. The men lived in Lakewood and Tacoma. They were reported missing Dec. 13 by family members after they did not return home from work.

According to probable cause documents filed Thursday after the arrest of the Kent man, detectives believe the Kent man and at least one other man picked up Avila-Cardenas at his home the morning of Dec. 12 in Lakewood.

Cell phone records of Avila-Cardenas and the Kent man show the two men and other suspect or suspects traveled to the Lake Union florist shop where Avila-Bejar, Quezada-Ortiz and Rangel worked. They waited until the men got off work at about 3 p.m.

Cell phone records indicate Avila-Cardenas and the Kent man and others traveled south, likely on Interstate 5, at around 3:30 p.m. The same records show the men arrived at about 4 p.m. in the area of the Rainier Nursery, and then leaving the about 5:50 p.m.

The records then show Avila-Cardenas, the Kent man and others in the area of the resident of the Kent man, just a few miles from the nursery.

Detectives served a search warrant May 12 on the residence of the Kent man. They found the cell phone used in the Dec. 12 calls as well as a goldish-colored GMC Yukon bearing Oregon plates, expected to be the same vehicle a witness saw when at least two men picked up Avila-Cardenas Dec. 12 at his Lakewood home.

The Kent Reporter is not naming the Kent man arrested because he has not yet been formally charged in the case.

Detectives from the Sheriff’s Office and the Lakewood Police continue to investigate the case.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

t
Kent Police use drone, K-9 unit to capture assault suspect

Man had fled after fight with security guard at apartment complex along SE Kent-Kangley Road

Jail bars. File photo
Renton man convicted in 2018 Des Moines homicide

Jurors found 28-year-old Yourhighness Jeramiah Bolar of Renton guilty of two felony charges.

t
One of two victims identified in fiery Kent crash

Kristen Anne Meyers, 53, died in May 11 crash on West Hill, according to medical examiner

t
City-owned ShoWare Center in Kent loses $742,675 in 2023

Losses lower than projected but expenses continue to exceed revenue at 6,200-seat arena

t
Kent firefighters extinguish two fires on the same morning | Photos

Friday, May 17 at apartment leasing office in the Valley and at a vacant East Hill house

Courtesy Photo, City of Kent
City of Kent population drops by 1,051 in 2023 compared to 2022

Decline similar to many cities of 50,000 or more across the nation, according to U.S. Census Bureau

t
Kent Police Blotter: April 25 to May 8

Incidents include burglaries, robberies, shootings

t
Rape charges dismissed against former Kent school bus driver

Prosecutors decide they could not prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt due to medical tests

t
Feds indict 9 South King County residents on drug trafficking charges

Those accused from Federal Way, Kent, Renton, Enumclaw

A screenshot of King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn speaking about a proposed amendment for the proposed $20 minimum wage ordinance. (Screenshot)
King County approves $20.29 minimum wage for unincorporated areas

Councilmember Reagan Dunn and more than a dozen business owners argued tips and health care expenses should be a part of the new wage. The council passed the ordinance without the amendment.

Dave Upthegrove. COURTESY PHOTO
Upthegrove one of seven candidates for state lands commissioner

His King County Council member’s district includes part of Kent

COURTESY PHOTO, King County Elections
Candidates file for Kent-area races for Congress, Legislature

Incumbents face challengers in two Congressional contests and four state House races