Mattawa man, 35, suspected in killing

By Paula Horton, Tri-City HeraldOctober 31, 2012 

A Mattawa man was arrested Monday on suspicion of killing his ex-girlfriend, who was found dead earlier this month in Grant County, authorities said.

Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones credited the arrest that closed the Oct. 16 homicide case to "teamwork and skilled investigation," including using cellphone data and interviews with several people.

The body of Carmelita Lopez Santos was discovered by a hunter in a recreation area near the Columbia River just south of Mattawa. The Yakima woman had been shot to death.

Sheriff's officials solicited information from the public about any missing friends or relatives and received a tip through the department's anonymous email service that Santos had been missing, authorities said.

Investigators learned Santos had been in a romantic relationship with Jose Abilion Aguilar Aguilar, and Aguilar Aguilar allegedly became upset when Santos broke up with him, authorities said.

Aguilar Aguilar, 35, was arrested about 8 p.m. Monday. He was booked into the Grant County jail on suspicion of first-degree murder, alien in possession of a firearm, felony harassment and intimidating a witness.

Jones credited his deputies, detectives, agents on the Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team, Yakima police and U.S. marshals with helping make the arrest.

Detectives still are investigating the Oct. 17 homicide of Tracy C. Fullbright.

The 29-year-old Soap Lake man was found dead near a ditch in Moses Lake.

He had been shot.

Women sought for trying to steal clothes from mall

Kennewick police and Tri-Cities Crime Stoppers are seeking the public's help identifying two women who tried to steal more than $3,000 worth of clothes from the mall.

The suspects were in the Sears store at the Columbia Center mall Oct. 20 when they pushed carts of clothing out of the store.

One woman jumped into a waiting red Ford F-150 pickup truck, and the other ran from store loss prevention personnel toward Columbia Center Boulevard.

Anyone with information about the women can call 586-8477 or visit www.tricitiescrimestoppers.org. Tips can also be sent by text message by writing "Text TIP 411" plus the message to CRIMES (274637).

Tri-Cities Crime Stoppers pays a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information that results in a felony arrest.

All calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential.

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