BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. (WIAT) — One month after two Alabama men went missing in California, their disappearance is now being investigated as a murder with one suspect now in custody and another being sought by police.
LaDexter Tequan Pelt, 25, and John Fitzgerald Dubose Jr., 20, were reported missing by their families on Nov. 6 after they lost contact with both men shortly after they arrived in California. According to the Gridley Police Department, Pelt and Dubose arrived in California on Nov. 4 and were last seen south of Gridley on Nov. 5.
Pelt, a music producer who has a 1-year-old daughter, is the son of Tracey Hunter, a member of the Eutaw City Council. According to Hunter, he had been out in California to visit friends. Hunter said Dubose was from Tuscaloosa, but his family is from Selma.
According to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office, detectives located evidence that gave them reason to believe Pelt and Dubose were murdered at a residence located in the unincorporated area of Gridley.
Detectives also located evidence that led them to believe that Gridley brothers Ricardo Banuelos-Villarreal, 30, and Alfredo Banuelos-Villarreal, 35, of Gridley, murdered Pelt and Dubose and hid their bodies.
On Nov. 14, Ricardo Banuelos-Villarreal was arrested and charged with two counts of murder. He is being held at the Butte County Jail.
Detectives are still searching for Alfredo Banuelos-Villarreal, who has an arrest warrant for two counts of murder in the case. Detectives are looking for his 2008 Nissan Altima, which has a California license plate number 6VAR204.
Detectives are actively searching for Pelt and Dubose’s bodies and would like to interview anyone who has interacted or had contact with them or the suspects within the past three months.
Anyone with information on this investigation, the location of Alfredo, or the Nissan Altima, is encouraged to call BCSO detectives at 530-538-7671.