Man suspected of killing 3 in California arrested after pursuit in Eagle County

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EAGLE COUNTY, Colo. – A man suspected of killing his girlfriend and her two sons in San Bernardino County, Calif. Wednesday was arrested Thursday morning near Red Cliff, Colo. after he allegedly stole a car in Dotsero and crashed it on Highway 24.

The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office said deputies arrested Louis Gabriel Lucero, 35, and booked him into the county jail. He is being held without bond and faces “an unknown number of charges from multiple other jurisdictions throughout the nation,” the sheriff’s office said in a release.

Eagle County deputies were called out to a motor vehicle theft incident that happened in Dotsero around 11:30 a.m. Thursday and found the car speeding down westbound I-70.

The sheriff’s office said that Lucero got off I-70 onto southbound Highway 24 near Minturn and then eventually crashed as deputies pursued him near Red Cliff. Lucero fled the crash on foot but was quickly apprehended, the sheriff’s office said.

ABC7 in Los Angeles reported Wednesday that Lucero was the suspect in the murders of 42-year-old Erlinda Villareal and her sons, who are ages 9 and 12. The station reported that the three bodies were found in a desert near the town of Apple Valley by people who were off-roading.

Deputies had also been called to the couple’s home in nearby Victorville earlier Wednesday and found signs of a struggle but no one home. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office said detective determined the three people left that home with Lucero and were murdered at another location before their bodies were dumped in the desert.