June 29, 2009 in City, Region

Two arrested in Grant County homicide

By The Spokesman-Review
Courtesy of Grant County Sheriff's Office photo

Frankie Mahto Larioz, 19, of Moses Lake, was arrested Friday, June 26, 2009, in the murder of Juan Manuel Vasquez Jr.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

Grant County resident Juan “Pookie” Vasquez was shot to death after his alleged killers mistook him for a person who stole a small baggie of marijuana, authorities said today.

After a trip to Bell, Calif., police now think they have the two men responsible for Vasquez’s death, said Grant County Undersheriff John Turley. Cesar Ismael Ramos DeLaCruz, 27, and Frankie Mahto Larioz, 19, both of Moses Lake, have been arrested in the June 16 murder of 19-year-old Vasquez. Each faces a first-degree murder charge.

DeLaCruz apparently fled to California, where he was found with his girlfriend, police said.

Vasquez was shot in the back in a residential area near the Grant County airport, Turley said. The shooting originally was thought to be gang related, but investigators have since ruled out gang ties.

Witnesses identified DeLaCruz as the one who shot at and killed Vasquez as he fled in his blue Honda CRX near the intersection of Vandenberg Loop and Doolittle Drive northeast of Moses Lake, Turley said. Larioz is believed to have been the driver.

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