WALLA WALLA — A recently received report on DNA evidence has led officials to believe they now know the complete identity of a suspect sought in the slaying of a man who was gunned down in Burbank three years ago.
A charging document filed Friday in Superior Court by Walla Walla County Prosecuting Attorney Jim Nagle names the defendant as Victor Castro Aguilar.
Therefore, an arrest warrant with the name Victor “Guajolote” John Doe — issued a month after the killing — was replaced with one including the specific identity of the suspect. Bail was set at $500,000.
The report received last month from the Washington State Crime Lab established Castro Aguilar’s identity through a match of DNA evidence found at the scene of the homicide.
But he and other suspects in the case remain at large.
A probable-cause certificate by Walla Walla County sheriff’s Sgt. Gary Bolster filed in court says Castro Aguilar has been arrested in California in the past, including last year by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. But his status is legal in the United States and his case was closed.
In an interview Monday, Bolster said authorities weren’t aware Castro Aguilar was wanted on the Walla Walla County warrant at the time. The warrant didn’t contain his complete, correct name because it wasn’t known.
However, Bolster surmises that Castro Aguilar’s DNA profile probably was obtained then, leading to the discovery of the match with evidence obtained at the Burbank homicide.
Castro Aguilar, now 31, and co-defendant Luis “Chari” Reyna, believed to be in his early 20s, are charged with first-degree murder.
Castro Aguilar also faces a charge of first-degree rendering criminal assistance.
Officials believe they fled to California after the Sept. 10, 2010, killing of Jose Ramon Hernandez-Solis.
Hernandez-Solis, 37, lived in Pasco, but was shot to death in a shop at 524 Basin Drive in Burbank.
According to officials, he, Reyna and the man now known as Castro Aguilar were among those attending an early-morning party that had begun several hours earlier.
Two men left the party after seeing Reyna in possession of a gun, according to a Sheriff’s Office report filed in court. One of the men told deputies he went outside to lie down in Hernandez-Solis’ truck and later was awakened by three gunshots.
From the truck, the man allegedly saw Reyna and possibly Castro Aguilar run from the shop, get into Reyna’s Jeep Grand Cherokee and back down the driveway. Reyna’s girlfriend, Narianna “Vanessa” Mendoza Camacho, then 17, also is believed to have been in the Jeep.
The witness then went into the shop, saw the victim’s body and ultimately left the area on foot.
Camacho was charged in the Superior Court’s Juvenile Department with first-degree rendering criminal assistance and a warrant also was issued for her arrest.
An autopsy revealed that Hernandez-Solis died after suffering two gunshot wounds — one to the left side of his neck and one to his left clavicle.
Terry McConn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8319.