Surveillance photos from the Ceres apartment complex where an 18-year-old woman is suspected to have been tortured were released by Modesto police Wednesday to get the public's help in solving a triple homicide from March.
The photos depict "people of interest" who detectives believe have knowledge of the March 3 killings of Edward Reinig, 31, Alyxandria Tellez, 19, and David Siebels, 16.
Police say the sole survivor in the home, now 19, was the victim of brutal abuse more than a month earlier at the apartment she shared with her boyfriend, Richard Garcia, on Richland Avenue in Ceres.
The release of the photos Wednesday confirmed for the first time publicly that detectives are investigating a possible connection between the two cases; it's a connection The Modesto Bee has been reporting since March.
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The surveillance photos show men on the steps that lead up to Garcia's apartment "around the time period of the triple homicide," said Lt. Rick Armendariz. He said detectives do not know if one of the men in the photos is Garcia.
At the apartment, Garcia and his friend, Armando Osegueda, are accused of having bound the woman's arms and legs, burned her with lighters, choked, beat and threatened to kill her Jan. 27.
The men were arrested, but released from custody by the end of February.
The woman's brother, Siebels, was shot to death on the first floor of a home in the 700 block of North McClure Road, she told The Bee during an interview in August.
She, Reinig and Tellez were upstairs. The woman said she woke to see one of the gunmen in her room, but stayed motionless. He left the room, and then she heard gunfire and Reinig screaming. Not knowing whether the shooters still were in the house, the woman called 911 and stayed on the phone with the dispatcher until police arrived.
On March 4 and March 18, respectively, Garcia and Osegueda were rearrested and charged with torture associated with the alleged Jan. 27 abuse, which raised their bail and has kept both in jail. Neither they nor anyone else has been charged with any crime associated with the triple homicide.
The survivor, whose name is being withheld because she is the victim of domestic violence, has been in witness protection since March.
Investigators ask anyone with information as to the identity of the individuals in the photos to call Detective Jon Evers at (209) 572-9534 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward. Tipsters can text information to Crime Stoppers by sending a text message to 274637. Type "TIP704" along with your message.
Bee staff writer Erin Tracy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2366. Follow her on twitter at @ModestoBeeCrime.