3 Men Found Dead in a Cemetery as Officials Think the Killings Were About Sending 'a Message'

Eric Todisco

Three men were found dead Monday in a cemetery in Perris, California, Riverside County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.

Officials said they arrived on the scene in regard to a report that three males were on the ground and unresponsive at the cemetery. After they were discovered to have been murdered, investigators from the Central Homicide Unit responded and assumed the investigation.

The victims have now been positively identified as Jaime Covarrubias Espindola, 50, Jose Maria Aguilar-Espejel, 38, and Rodrigo Aguilar-Espejel, 28. All three are from Perris, located about 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

The sheriff’s office said that the triple-murder appears to have been an isolated incident and there is no perceived threat to the public.

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“Three people killed at the same time? That was a message for something. Whether it was for someone else or to them, it certainly is not the norm,” Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said at a press conference Tuesday, according to ABC News and CNN.

Bianco also said that investigators are looking into whether the killings were gang or cartel-related.

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Authorities have not revealed how the three men were killed. However, Bianco said it appears to have been an execution that took place within the cemetery, local news station KFSN reported.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.