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Back You are here: Home News News Lake Chapala Mexican man murdered, expat housemate injured in Riberas del Pilar

Mexican man murdered, expat housemate injured in Riberas del Pilar

An elderly U.S. citizen was gravely injured and his Mexican companion murdered in their Riberas del Pilar residence during a violent encounter with unknown suspects.

Responding to a call from concerned neighbors, Chapala police arrived at the scene at Avenida de la Ribera 204 shortly before noon Saturday, February 23 and found Ronald Bentley Main, age 76, lying on the kitchen floor. He was breathing and semi-conscious, with signs of multiple stab wounds apparently inflicted with an ice pick. While awaiting arrival of Red Cross paramedics, officers inspected the premises, finding the lifeless body of Martin Orozco Gutierrez, 48, sprawled face down in a pool of blood in the hallway of the home’s bedroom wing.

According to information provided by police chief Ramon del Arco and staff at the local Ministerio Publico (MP) district attorney’s office, it appears that Orozco had been severely beaten with a blunt object, possibly a large giraffe statue that was found broken into pieces near the corpse. An autopsy report revealing the exact cause of death is still pending.

Investigators discovered two separate sets of footprints discovered at the scene did not match the footwear worn by the victims, indicating that at least two assailants were involved in the crime. Since there were no signs of forced entry into the property, authorities theorize that the victims may have been acquainted with their attackers and admitted them inside the house. The place had not been ransacked, but there were signs that a wall safe and two televisions had been removed. The victims’ wallets as well as car and house keys were also missing.

Police were tipped off by neighbors who got no answer when they rang the bell Sunday morning and became further alarmed by the heavy scent of propane gas emanating from the property. Upon entering and finding Main in the kitchen, officers found that all handles of the gas stove had been turned to the full open position.

So far, investigators have ascertained that the two men had returned from a trip to Orozco’s native state of Guanajuato the previous evening. It has not been determined if they were attacked that same night or early the following day.

Main was taken by ambulance to the Red Cross clinic for emergency attention and later transferred to a Guadalajara medical facility for further treatment.

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