Fifth person arrested in the Mexico City murders of the Tirado brothers and their uncle

The woman identified as Rebeca is a friend of the other four arrested suspects and was located through mobile phone tracking

Caso Hermanos Tirado CDMX
A forensic team outside the address at Medellín 113, in the Roma neighborhood, Mexico City.CUARTOSCURO

On December 22, police arrested a fifth person implicated in the murders of Jorge and Andrés Tirado and their uncle, Luis González, in Mexico City’s Roma neighborhood. When the woman identified only as Rebeca was arrested, police say, “she was carrying a pawn shop receipt for a laptop computer similar to one stolen from the home where the men were murdered, an electronic tablet and some office supplies.” Sources in the public prosecutor’s office say the suspected accomplice to the murders is a friend of the four people who have already been detained.

According to sources consulted by EL PAÍS, Rebeca was located using mobile phone data from the other suspects. Authorities have ruled out theories that the first three people arrested – Blanca, Sally and Azuher (mother, daughter and son-in-law, respectively) – hired a group of professional hitmen to commit the murders. The investigation is proceeding under the premise that all those involved are friends or family. The fourth person arrested – Randy – is Sally’s son and Blanca’s grandson, while Rebeca is friends with Sally and Azuher. Authorities believe two others were involved and expect more arrests in the next few days.

ATM security camera footage shows Rebeca withdrawing money accompanied by Sally. Our sources say the police believe that Blanca, Sally and Azuher, who are being held in custody for at least the next six months, asked trusted people for help in planning and committing the crime. The new findings support their theory that the suspects did not hire professional killers, and seem to have improvised their way throughout. Since phone tracing is relatively easy, it’s unlikely that seasoned criminals would have left so many clues on their cellphones.

The Tirado brothers, an actor and a musician from Sinaloa who were well-known in certain cultural circles, and their uncle were found dead on December 18 in the affluent Roma neighborhood of Mexico City. Police found their bodies in a cellar, and estimate that they had been dead for two days after the suspects gagged, beat and strangled them. The first three suspects were in the home when the bodies were found, and were immediately arrested. Police found 72-year-old Margarita María Ochoa alive in another room. Ochoa is the aunt of the Tirado brothers and the wife of Luis González. According to the public prosecutor, she was not killed because the suspects wanted her to sign the deed to the house over to them.

Ochoa is also the sister of the previous owner, an elderly man who died last May. Blanca was the man’s nurse and lived on the first floor with her daughter and son-in-law. After the owner’s death, Blanca tried to take possession of the property, claiming that she was the common-law spouse of the elderly man, but she was unable to provide evidence of the relationship. Ochoa and González moved into the home in June to claim Ochoa’s inheritance of the house, as her brother died intestate (when there is no final testament or when succession is unclear). When Ochoa was about to finalize the paperwork, police allege that Blanca, her daughter and son-in-law tried to violently take possession of the house.

The Tirado brothers had moved in with their aunt and uncle in August to pursue their careers in Mexico City. While they became collateral damage in the crime, it may have gone unnoticed without the social media clamor raised by the Tirado’s friends and family. The victims and perpetrators lived together for several months in the house on Medellín Street. Built in the late 19th century, the now-neglected house is valuable for its location – Roma Norte – an exclusive neighborhood that is undergoing rapid gentrification and skyrocketing real estate prices. The police are now seeking to detain the other two suspects so they can close the criminal investigation and hand the case over to the courts.

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