Santa Maria police release findings on U-Haul dumping murder
March 26, 2013
Three days after the conclusion of the Dystiny Myers murder trial, the Santa Maria Police Department released its finding into the investigation of another Santa Maria homicide victim whose body the alleged killers attempted to disappear. [KCOY]
The police department says attackers stabbed Anthony Ibarra, 28, to death on March 17 and may have tortured him before dumping his body in a U-Haul truck, which investigators found two days later in an Orcutt residential neighborhood.
“There was markings on the body,” Police Chief Ralph Martin said. “It appeared he was tortured or released for a two or three hour period of time and that he eventually died from what we believe to be a stabbing wound.”
The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s said last week that it suspected torture occurred in the homicide, and because of that, the accused killers could face the death penalty.
Police have already arrested a total of eight suspects in connection to Ibarra’s death, which they have deemed a gang related murder.
“I attribute this homicide to a combination of gang activity, drug activity and territorial activity,” Martin said.
Yet, Martin said that he does not believe the murder was an indication of a violent crime spree in Santa Maria.
Police investigators say the Ibarra killing occurred at a residence at 1142 West Donovan Road. Officers searched the location the day after the murder and determined that an assault occurred but did not discover the body in the U-Haul until the day following.
On March 19, officers arrested Ramon Maldonado, Carmen Cardenas and Pedro Torres. In the two days following the initial arrests, they took five more suspects into custody, bringing the total to eight.