Sheriff’s detectives have released images of a 21-year-old man wanted in the beating death of another young man whose body was found over the side of a mountain road in Angeles National Forest.
Matthew Luzon Martin-Capiendo has been charged along with three other men with capital murder for allegedly bludgeoning Julian Hamori-Andrade, 20, of Glendora at Martin-Capiendo’s Azusa-area home, then kidnapping him, robbing him and dumping him, battered-yet-still-alive, down a hillside, where he died.
Hamori-Andrade’s body was found at 6 p.m. Wednesday in heavy brush about 30 feet down the hill alongside Highway 39 in Azusa Canyon, and he had suffered what appeared to be blunt force trauma, according to Deputy Trina Schrader of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Information Bureau.
Prosecutors and sheriff’s officials said the victim was 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 suspects or victim.
Hamori-Andrade was driven to Azusa Canyon, where again he was beaten and thrown over the side of the road, according to the sheriff’s department.
The other three suspects, who are in custody, are acquaintances of the victim. They were identified as Hercules Balaskas, 19, of Glendora; Jacob Hunter Elmendorf, 19, of La Verne; and Francisco Amigon, 19, also of Laverne.
All four were charged Thursday with first-degree murder, residential robbery and kidnapping. The murder charges include the special circumstance allegations of lying in wait and murder during the commission of a kidnapping and a robbery. They are scheduled to be arraigned June 6 in Pomona.
The defendants all face a possible death sentence, but prosecutors will decide later whether to pursue capital punishment.
Sheriff’s officials said the victim and suspects were all at Martin-Capiendo’s home “when the victim was brutally beaten before being dragged to a pickup truck belonging to one of the suspects.”
Prosecutors contend Balaskas beat the victim with a metal chair, while Martin-Capiendo wielded a rock and broken glass pipe.
“The unconscious victim was lifted into the bed of the truck and driven to Azusa Canyon,” sheriff’s officials said. “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 saw the pickup at the location that night, leading them to the body.
“I can’t believe that these kids that young are capable of doing such a horrific thing to my son,” Desiree Andrade, the victim’s mother, told KCAL9.
Martin-Capiendo is described as Filipino, 5 feet 6 inches tall, 220 pounds. He has brown eyes and black hair, though he may have recently shaved his head.
He should be considered armed and dangerous and not approached, according to the sheriff’s department.
Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts or the case in general was urged to contact the Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500 to speak with Detective Q. Rodriguez or Sgt. Maurizi.
Anonymous tips can be submitted through Crime Stoppers by calling (800) 222-TIPS.