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Man Arrested in Disappearances

Suspect's girlfriend and her two daughters vanished in 1994.

May 07, 2003|Jose Cardenas | Times Staff Writer

A 48-year-old man arrested in Las Vegas has been charged with killing his girlfriend and her two daughters, who were reported missing in Downey eight years ago, authorities said Tuesday. The bodies have not been found.

The arrest was the result of advances in DNA testing that allowed investigators earlier this year to link the three missing people to blood found in their apartment in 1994, said Downey Police Sgt. Phil Rego. Rego said that other evidence and witnesses' statements placed the suspect, Estanislao Prado Gonzalez, at the crime scene.

Downey police also arrested Gonzalez's sister, Delia Gonzalez Mora, in Los Angeles in connection with the slayings, Rego said.

However, she was released Monday after the district attorney's office returned the case to Downey police for more investigation, said Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

In November 1994, Estanislao Gonzalez and his girlfriend, Luz Maria Mucino, 37, moved into an apartment in the 11600 block of Old River School Road.

Their family included Mucino's daughters, Edith Mucino Gonzalez, 18, and Gabriela Mucino Gonzalez, 17, and 4-year-old twin children of Gonzalez and Luz Mucino.

In December, Estanislao Gonzalez was seen moving out of the apartment with his twins, Raquel and Carlos, authorities said. His girlfriend and her teenage daughters were never heard from again.

Earlier this year, Downey police received a tip that Gonzalez was living in Las Vegas with the twins, Rego said. Downey and Las Vegas police put him under surveillance.

Gonzalez was arrested Thursday and charged in Clark County with three counts of murder, Gibbons said. She said that a special circumstance of multiple murder could make Gonzalez subject to the death penalty.

Los Angeles prosecutors are seeking to extradite Gonzalez to Downey, Gibbons said. He is being held without bail pending an extradition hearing.

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