Man in custody for 4 ‘brutal’ killings that shook Reno communities: Officials

Washoe County Sheriffs Office
Washoe County Sheriffs Office

(RENO, Nev.) — A man was taken into custody this weekend in connection with four “brutal” murders that shook communities in the Reno, Nevada, area, officials said.

Wilbur Ernesto Martinez-Guzman, 19, was apprehended Saturday, Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam said at a joint news conference Sunday.

“We feel confident we have evidence that will link him to all four homicides,” Balaam said. “The information we have now indicates there are no outstanding suspects.”

Martinez-Guzman “was likely in the United States illegally and was detainable,” immigration officers verified Saturday afternoon, said Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong.

Martinez-Guzman, who has been living in Carson City for about a year, is being held in the Carson City Detention Facility on immigration charges and charges related to possession of stolen property, Balaam said.

Investigators will be seeking an arrest warrant for the murders in the coming days, Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks said at the news conference.

No motive has been released, and authorities added that Martinez-Guzman was not known to the Carson City Sheriff’s Office.

All four victims were found shot dead in their homes, reported ABC Reno affiliate KOLO.

The first of the four victims, 56-year-old Connie Koontz, was killed Jan. 9 or 10, KOLO reported.

Sophia Renken, 74, was found dead Jan. 13, according to KOLO, and then Gerald David, 81, and his wife Sharon David, 80, were found shot dead in their home on Jan. 16.

“Our communities were shaken by these brutal murders,” Hicks said.

From Jan. 10 to Saturday, Jan. 19, investigators were following up on tips and leads in the four killings, and by Friday, those leads allowed agencies to focus on several specific locations in Carson City, Furlong said.

Friday afternoon surveillance teams were sent to find Martinez-Guzman and anyone associated with him, and by 7 a.m. Saturday, according to Furlong, investigators found him at a home in east Carson City.

Authorities said family members of all four victims were at Sunday’s news conference.

A relative of Gerald and Sharon David told reporters, “We’d like to express our sincere sympathies to the families of the other victims. They are in our prayers. We will continue to keep our eyes on God, trusting in him, as we walk through the aftermath of this tragedy.”

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