Three people were under arrest Thursday in connection with the discovery of a man’s body off Highway 39 in Azusa Canyon that was linked to an assault in unincorporated Azusa, and authorities continue their search for a fourth suspect.
The body of Julian Hamori-Andrade, 20, of Glendora was found about 6 p.m. Wednesday in heavy brush about 30 feet down the hill from the road and had suffered what appeared to be blunt force trauma, according to Deputy Trina Schrader of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Information Bureau.
Homicide detectives and San Dimas Station deputies determined the victim, who is thought to have been alive when dumped in the forest, had been beaten at a home in the 6100 block of Goodway Drive, where authorities found a large pool of blood on the floor on Monday, but no one was inside.
The victim was driven to Azusa Canyon, where he was beaten again and thrown over the side of the road, Schrader said.
The three suspects in custody, who are acquaintances of the victim, were identified as Hercules Balaskas, 18, of Glendora; Jacob Hunter Elmendorf, 19, of La Verne; and Francisco Amigon, 19, also of Laverne. All three have been booked on suspicion of murder, Schrader said.
The outstanding suspect has been identified as Matthew Capiendo Luzon, 21, who lives at the home where the blood was found. His description was being withheld as detectives follow-up on leads as to his whereabouts and a warrant for his arrest is sought, Schrader said.
“Investigators have learned the victim, along with suspects Balaskas, Elmendorf, and Amigon were at the home of suspect Matthew Luzon on Goodway Drive, when the victim was brutally beaten before being dragged to a pick-up truck belonging to one of the suspects, Schrader said. “The unconscious victim was lifted into the bed of the truck and driven to Azusa Canyon. He was then brutally beaten again before being thrown over the side of a roadside drop off. The victim, who is believed to have been alive upon arriving at the roadside location, succumbed to his injuries.”
Investigators received tips from passersby who witnessed the suspect vehicle at the location on the night of the incident, which led them to find the body where Hamori-Andrade “had been left to die.”
“After several hours of searching, the victim was located and pronounced dead at the scene,” Schrader said, adding that a motive for the killing was not immediately known.
“We want to thank the witnesses for coming forward and helping us locate the victim of this senseless murder,” the deputy said. “Without them, we may never have found the victim.
Anyone with information about the case was urged to contact the Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.
Anonymous tips can be submitted through Crime Stoppers by calling (800) 222-TIPS.