A Umatilla father and his three sons are persons of interest in the shooting deaths of three Tri-Citians earlier this month in a Benton County cornfield.
One son is already in custody, but investigators believe his dad and brothers left the area shortly after the three bodies were found.
On Wednesday, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office named Fidel Miranda-Huitron, 51, Eduardo Miranda-Resendiz, 24, and Fernando De Jesus Miranda-Resendiz, 19, as people they want to question in connection with the case.
Authorities haven’t issued warrants, but they want to talk to the men to see what they know about the case, said Benton County Detective Sgt. Kevin McCary.
Three other people of interest have been questioned by investigators.
Francisco J. Miranda-Resendiz, 23, was arrested a day after the Aug. 9 shootings and is at the Umatilla County jail, said officials.
Police questioned an Irrigon man, Cristian R. Hurtado, 23, who is jailed on unrelated charges.
A sixth man is considered a person of interest and was questioned several times, though he has not been arrested.
“There’s been a lot of information passed around in the neighborhood, some correct and a lot incorrect,” McCary said. “We wanted to clarify who we are looking for right now for questioning.”
A farm worker found the bodies of Abigail Torres-Renteria, 23, David Perez-Saucedo, 22, and Victoria Torres, 19, in a field southeast of Nine Canyon Road and Coffin Road early Aug. 9. Torres-Renteria was around nine months pregnant with a girl when she was killed.
Local authorities notified law enforcement nationwide about their search for the Miranda family members, McCary said. He said authorities have searched for the men for weeks.
The family has ties to Mexico and it’s possible they have left the country, McCary said.
However, investigators don’t have any information to suggest the trio has crossed the border.
The Miranda-Resendiz brothers and their father worked with Perez-Saucedo at Wyckoff Farms based in Grandview, McCary said.
A group of people, including Francisco Miranda-Resendiz, apparently “picked up” the victims at the Umatilla Pik-A-Pop station hours before they were killed, court documents said.
One person was seen on a surveillance video carrying a weapon. Francisco Miranda-Resendiz told authorities Hurtado also was with him at the gas station.
Authorities have not said why they believe the victims went to Umatilla that night.
McCary said investigators have identified a possible motive, but releasing it could jeopardize the ongoing investigation.Authorities have served more than 20 search warrants and are identifying evidence to send to the Washington state crime lab for analysis.
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the Mirandas is asked to call the Benton County Sheriff’s Office at 509-628-0333.
-- Tyler Richardson: 509-582-1556; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @Ty_richardson