Arrest made in Mendota double murder
MENDOTA, Calif. (KFSN) -- The gruesome scene where Daniel and Rene Leon were murdered is now a memorial to the brothers -- two black ribbons surrounded by flowers and candles.
"Rene's head was right here and I just got down and prayed over him," Elma Espinosa, the victims' cousin, said.
Detectives collected bullets that went into the garage and a kitchen window, but the best evidence they found came from a second scene.
Friends chased the shooter to this neighborhood about a mile away.
They say this man, Yobanni Bonilla, opened fire and hit a man, but he also left something behind.
Court documents show detectives found a cell phone and traced it to Bonilla, but friends and family members told them the suspect had disappeared.
Then, a call to the phone from Bonilla's mother led them to believe he may be headed to his native El Salvador. Detectives tracked him to a house in El Centro and went there.
"They took Bonilla into custody as he left this residence," Chris Curtice of the Fresno County Sheriff's office said.
At the home where the Leons lived, a shrine is now growing in the driveway to Daniel and Rene. It's an emotional tribute to the brothers. But one emotion is still missing at the home, despite the arrest of the suspect: joy.
Freddy Leon says no arrest can bring back his brothers, but he plans to honor them in death by making something of his life.
"I got no choice but to continue moving on and continuing for them, try to become what my brothers wanted me to become. Not to give up on life," he said.
Bonilla is expected to make his initial court appearance later this week.
shooting, homicide, mendota, fresno county, crimetracker, local, corin hoggard
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