Bones identified to be the remains of Maria Padilla

September 9, 2009 12:27:53 AM PDT
The Fresno County Coroner has identified body parts found in a bag in a pond in July through DNA. They are the remains of 27 year old Maria Padilla. Deputies believe she was killed and dismembered, then scattered throughout Fresno County.The suspects are both awaiting trial in the Fresno County Jail. Each day, as more details emerge, the case becomes more of a mystery. Now, a key witness is dead and there's still no known motive for Maria's murder.

Blanca Padilla says she cannot accept her daughter's death because of the inhumane way the 27 year old was shot, dismembered and tossed in random locations.

Court records say Maria Padilla was killed in a motel formerly known as the Knights Inn. Homicide investigators believe Padilla's boyfriend, Lorenzo Sepulveda is to blame along with his friend and former boss Alex Harwell.

Sepulveda had dated Padilla off and on for years. Action News obtained letters Sepulveda wrote to her over the years when he was in jail for brief periods. In each he talks about his unfailing love and includes sketches made for her.

Padilla's mother believes Harwell was the mastermind and Sepulveda an accessory. She has a message for Sepulveda.

Blanca Padilla said, "For the love that he had for my daughter, i want him to look deep inside And forgive himself and tell the truth and collaborate with all the court officials and just tell the truth."

In a case full of bizarre twists, the murder got more complex in April, when a key witness turned up dead, murdered in Arizona. The victim, Dan Kruser had been a longtime friend of Harwells. In fact, the bones found in July were on Kruser's Fresno County property.

The attorney representing Harwell believes Kruser's execution style murder is a result of this trial and information he would've provided.

Harwell's Attorney Mark Broughton said, "He was a very integral witness if not uncharged defendant in this case. I fully suspect he would have been called by both sides. What is the trial going to look like without him being available to testify?"

Padilla's mother doesn't want to hear details about her daughter's murder; she says it's too painful. She hopes investigators will one day be able to share with her a motive, she can't imagine what would've driven anyone to this.

Detectives from Arizona have been in Fresno recently trying to find information about Kruser's murder. No arrests have been made in that case.

The trial for Maria's murder is set for April. It's expected to last several months.

      MORE LOCAL NEWS | TWEET@ABC30 | FREE ABC30 WIDGET
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sign up for Breaking News Alerts
Breaking News E-Mail Alerts | Text Message Alerts
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
More News on abc30.com
California/State | National/World | Weather | Entertainment | Business | Politics | Sports | Health Watch | Consumer Watch | Mr. Food |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Load Comments