CHILTON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Two men have been charged with the murder of three people after remains were found in a burnt car in Chilton County last summer.
28-year-old Noel Garcia Esquivel, of Montevallo, and 27-year-old Abraham Pena Perez, of Alabaster, were both arrested Thursday and charged with murder in the deaths of Gabriel Alonzo Rios Jr., 24, Gilberto Munoz Cabrera, 37, and Javier Quintero Gonzalez, 36. The remains of the three victims were found in a burnt SUV in the woods near County Road 5014 on July 2.
Esquivel and Perez were arrested after the Chilton County Sheriff’s Office recovered evidence during a search warrant on County Road 5014 and County Road 1080 that they believe was linked to the murder case.
Investigators processed the scene and the remains which were taken to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for examination. The victims were identified through DNA samples collected in Alabama, Tennessee, and Mexico. The autopsies completed by the Alabama Department of Forensic Science determined that at least two of the victims suffered from gunshot wounds prior to being burned.
According to law enforcement, both Esquivel and Perez were in the United States illegally and were allegedly involved in drug trafficking. Bond has been set at $4.5 million each.
The Alabaster Police Department, the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, Fast-Lab in Thorsby, Alabama, the Metro Nashville Police Department, the Hendersonville Tennessee Police Department, the Cheatham County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office, the Dickson County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Drug Enforcement Administration assisted in the case.
Investigators are gathering additional evidence and expect to make additional arrests for firearms related offenses. If anyone has any information about this case, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at (205) 755-4698 or leave a crime tip at www.chiltoncountyso.org.