Authorities from San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties announced Monday that two people have been charged in connection with the murder of a 32-year-old man who was found next to a broccoli field in Nipomo.
The accused are Alejandro “Tiny” Carrillo, 27, of Guadalupe and Stacy Doreen Araujo, 38, of Orcutt.
In the five months since the body of Pedro Gonzalez of Guadalupe was discovered by a passerby, sheriff’s officials from the two counties have worked hundreds of hours on the case and conducted more than 50 interviews.
Authorities are also looking for another woman, Miroslava “Miros” Murguia, who is wanted on suspicion of being an accessory to murder, Cmdr. Ron Hastie of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department said. The 34-year-old Guadalupe woman was last seen in the Guadalupe area about a month ago.
An employee of San Ysidro Farms, which owns the broccoli fields, found Gonzalez’s body early on the morning of Feb. 15.
He was found about a quarter-mile from Division Street, amid hundreds of acres of farmland and about a half-mile from the nearest house.
A manager at San Ysidro Farms said Gonzalez did not work there.
He died of a gunshot wound, said Ann Bramsen, chief assistant district attorney for Santa Barbara County.
However, because the District Attorney’s Office has filed charges, she declined to elaborate on any other details about the killing, such as how Gonzalez knew Carrillo and Araujo, or how he ended up in Nipomo.
Carrillo was arrested in late February on suspicion of a parole violation and has since been held in Santa Barbara County Jail.
He has been charged with Gonzalez’s murder, plus an additional enhancement charge of gang involvement, which would increase the penalty if he is convicted. Carrillo could face a sentence of 50 years to life, Bramsen said.
Araujo was charged with being an accessory to murder. She also faces a gang enhancement charge and could face up to 13 years if convicted, Bramsen said.
Bramsen said Carrillo, Araujo and Murguia are all believed to be associated with the same street gang. She said Gonzalez was not affiliated with a street gang.
Carrillo and Araujo were arraigned in Santa Barbara County Superior Court in Santa Maria on Friday and are due back in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing.
Officials in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties described the case as complicated because, “no one wants to tell you what happened,” Bramsen said.
The investigation is still ongoing, she said. Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at 549-7867 or go online to www.slotips.org. Sheriff’s officials are offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to Murguia’s arrest.
Reach Cynthia Lambert at 781-7929. Stay updated on Twitter by following @SouthCountyBeat.