A Jurupa Valley man accused of killing a 40-year-old acquaintance and setting his remains ablaze is on the run, authorities said Friday, and anyone who might know his whereabouts was asked to come forward.
August Nielsen III, 37, is charged with first-degree murder for the May slaying of Michael Daniel Reynoso in Jurupa Valley.
Riverside County Sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Brosche said detectives have been searching for Nielsen, who has an arrest warrant pending.
His co-defendant, 23-year-old Adrian Daniel Chaffino, is charged with being an accessory to murder and is slated to be arraigned Monday at the Riverside Hall of Justice. He’s being held in lieu of $5,000 bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center.
According to Brosche, on the morning of May 8, a travel trailer was set aflame near the intersection of Clay Street and Van Buren Boulevard. Firefighters quickly doused the blaze and discovered Reynoso’s charred remains inside.
Confirming the victim’s identity took several months, but after detectives learned Reynoso was the person killed, they turned their attention to Nielsen, the sergeant said, without specifying why or disclosing a possible motive. According to court papers, the victim was fatally shot.
A criminal complaint was filed against both defendants last month. Chaffino was arrested without incident at his residence on Rorimer Drive in Jurupa Valley. Nielsen could not be found, according to Brosche.
Nielsen is known to stay in the San Bernardino area. He’s white, 5-feet-11 and 175 pounds, with brown eyes and short brown hair. A sheriff’s wanted poster is available at www.riversidesheriff.org/press/pdf/chu18-0508-Flyer.pdf.
The defendant has a prior misdemeanor conviction for making criminal threats, according to court records.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit at (951) 955-0896.
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