Suspect in Merced Double-Homicide Arrested in Louisiana

Merced, CA                                     |   Search Related Stories   |

Merced County Sheriff's Deputies have been searching for 52 year old Julio Bonilla since finding two people who had been stabbed to death in a Mission Avenue home last week. Bonilla, who worked for the couple who lived here, was initially considered a person of interest. But this week he became a suspect. And on Wednesday detectives went to Southern California to find him because of evidence they recovered at the crime scene and the couple's car that was found abandoned in Ontario.

Undersheriff Bill Blake said, "They traveled to Victorville, CA, our major crimes officers, and while in Victorville got more evidence and talked to more people and were able to track Julio Cesar Bonilla to his sister's home in Louisiana."

Undersheriff Blake says police in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana took Bonilla into custody Wednesday evening. He said, "He's been arrested as a suspect in the double murder …"

The victims have still not been positively identified because their bodies were so badly decomposed. But authorities and family members believe they are 43 year old Clara Cisneros and her husband, 82 year old William Cisneros.

William Cisneros' Sister Petra Alves said, "My brother didn't have an enemy, he was a real well liked guy. I don't know why they do that to him."

Petra Alves says her brother was a hard-working man who helped raise his younger siblings. She and other family members have been devastated by the murders. But they are relieved that Bonilla is in jail.

Anita Diaz describes Bonilla as quiet, and Alves calls him a loner. Both women say they suspected he may have been involved in the killings.

William Cisneros' Niece Anita Diaz said, "The first person who did come to mind was him. So it wasn't very shocking to me when they told me they arrested him."

Bonilla's extradition hearing is set for Friday, and he could be brought back to Merced County as soon as next week.

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