Two brothers accused of killing a 16-year-old Moreno Valley girl who went missing a month ago made a joint initial court appearance Friday.
Gary Anthony Shover, 21, and Owen Skyler Shover, 18, were arrested Monday in connection with the death of Aranda Briones. They’re both charged with murder and a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait.
The pair appeared before Superior Court Judge Eric Keen, who appointed them a public defender and scheduled their arraignment for March 1 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.
Each man is being held without bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside. Neither has documented prior felony convictions.
According to sheriff’s officials, the brothers were identified as prime suspects in Briones’ disappearance and death following a weeks-long investigation. The siblings were taken into custody without incident at their Hesperia residence on Grevillea Street, near Old Ranch Road.
A SWAT unit executed a search warrant at the property, officials said.
Briones was last seen Jan. 13 in Moreno Valley Community Park, at the intersection of Cottonwood Avenue and Frederick Street, where she had been visiting with friends and relatives.
Sheriff’s Lt. Chris Durham said Owen Shover — a friend of Briones from Moreno Valley High School — was the last person to have seen the girl alive. Durham said investigators spoke to Shover, who allegedly claimed he had dropped Briones at the park, where she was picked up by somebody in a four-door sedan. But Durham said surveillance cameras from the area countered Shover’s story.
“The camera system was reviewed and ultimately it destroys the timeline that he provided,” Durham said.
A neighbor of the Shovers told reporters she saw sheriff’s investigators digging in the backyard of the brothers’ home, and saw them unearth clothing and blankets. Durham declined to comment on what was recovered.
“I do know that evidence was collected that confirmed that … Miss Briones was the victim of a homicide and points at these two brothers,” Durham said.
Authorities have not disclosed a possible motive for the killing.
“This continues to be an active investigation,” Durham said. “We’re still asking for the public’s help. We still need their help to find Miss Briones.”
The victim’s loved ones have been searching for the teen, distributing fliers throughout the city and surrounding locations bearing her photograph and other information.
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