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News Release

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Media Relations

Two Murder Suspects Arrested


Los Angeles: West Valley Area Homicide Detectives have arrested two suspects in connection with a gang-related murder that occurred on August 11, 2004, in the 18300 block of Victory Boulevard in Reseda. On that day, at 8:10 p.m., 17 year-old Carlos Manuel Guevara was driving his car westbound on Victory Boulevard at Lindley Avenue with two other occupants, a 22 year-old male and a 14 year-old female. They began exchanging gang hand signs with the occupants of a silver Honda Civic. The Honda was occupied by three male and one female Hispanics. The rear passenger in the Honda, later identified as 18 year-old Joel Castaneda of Canoga Park, opened fire from the Honda with a small caliber pistol and shot Guevara in the head, killing him instantly. Another round struck the male passenger in the arm. The Honda sped off after the shooting.

Following the murder, West Valley Homicide Detectives received information from an informant that the Honda belonged to the family of a 16 year-old female, who was in the car at the time of the shooting. The detectives located the vehicle at a Canoga Park home and a search warrant was served at the location on August 25, 2004. As a result of information received at that location, the detectives arrested the suspected driver of the vehicle, a 16 year-old Canoga Park juvenile, at his residence. Later that day, West Valley Gang Enforcement Officers located the shooter at Wyandotte Street and Milwood Avenue in Canoga Park and placed him under arrest for the murder.

Joel Castaneda was booked for murder at the Van Nuys Jail and is being held without bail. The 16 year-old driver of the vehicle was booked for murder and is being held without bail at the Sylmar Juvenile Hall. His identity is not being released due to his age.

The 16 year-old girl whose family owns the Honda was questioned and released.

The case will be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office later this week.

Anyone with information is requested to contact West Valley Homicide Detectives, at 818-342-0449. On weekends or during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at the Detective Information Desk, 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).

This news release was prepared by Los Angeles Police Department’s Media Relations Section, at 213-485-3586.