A murder charge was filed Monday against a La Quinta man accused of killing a 20-year-old man whose body was found in the open desert of Desert Hot Springs.

Jose Manuel Angel Arellano, 21, was arrested last Thursday on suspicion of killing David Joaquin Murrieta of Desert Hot Springs, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Arellano remains in custody at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning in lieu of $1 million bail. He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance Tuesday before a judge at the Banning Justice Center.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Rick Espinoza said deputies from the Palm Desert sheriff’s station investigating an ongoing missing person case discovered human remains on Jan. 21 in the area of Mission Lakes Boulevard and Little Morongo Road.

According to court papers, Murrieta was killed on Jan. 14, but additional information regarding the timeline of events was not provided.

It remains unclear whether a weapon was used in the killing. A sentence-enhancing allegation alleging the use of a weapon in the crime was not included in a criminal complaint filed by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.

Arellano does not have any documented felony convictions in Riverside County.

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