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La Verne men suspected in murder

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Elijah Thomas Rouse of La Verne and Shaun Cardarelli of San Gabriel have been charged with the murder of West Covina firefighter John Brian Mananghaya Aguila of West Covina, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

If convicted, both defendants could face the death penalty. 

Aguila had been missing since Aug. 22, according to the West Covina Police Department.

Aguila was a firefighter from West Covina and his family reported him missing to the West Covina Police Department on Aug. 24.

The West Covina Police Department released the news to the public for their help to locate Aguila and to contact the police department.

West Covina Police had located Aguila’s car on Aug. 23. Investigators looked at surveillance video of Aguila’s car driving down the street, which captured a man walking down the street. 

Investigators began looking through the car for evidence when they found bloody gloves and clothes in the trunk. 

They were able to identify the man walking down the street due to the evidence they found. 

On Aug. 27, the West Covina Police Department SWAT received a search warrant for a residence in the 1400 block of Third Street, La Verne and detained three people. 

Two of the men were booked for suspicion of murder which included Rouse and Cardarelli.

The defendants both face one count of murder with allegations of killing during a robbery and the usage of a knife as deadly weapon. 

Due to the evidence found by the investigators, they believe this case may be connected to a burned body discovered in Upland, specifically in the areas of Mountain and Euclid avenues. 

The coroner’s office is still working to identify the body. The case remains under investigation by the West Covina Police Department. 

—Maydeen Merino

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