Eight-Day Search for Missing Firefighter Results in Two Men Charged with Murder

Eight-Day Search for Missing Firefighter Results in Two Men Charged with Murder
Photo: John Brian Mananghaya Aguila

LA VERNE – The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced murder charges August 29th for two men found during the multi-agency investigation of firefighter John Brian Mananghaya Aguila (28), missing since August 22nd.

Aguila’s family said that he was last seen leaving his girlfriend’s home in La Puente about 4:30 p.m. last Thursday. West Covina PD reported that there was no return to his home, nor appearance at his part-time firefighter job for the Bureau of Land Management.

A day after he vanished, Aguila’s white 2017 Honda Civic was impounded in San Dimas.

A day-long SWAT operation in La Verne culminated with West Covina Police Department booking Elijah Thomas Rouse (dob 12/20/00) of La Verne and Shaun Cardarelli (dob 6/22/82) of San Gabriel for suspicion of murder.

While the nearby all-male Roman Catholic Damien High School was under security lockdown, a helicopter hovered overhead. Multiple investigative vehicles filled blocks of the cordoned-off neighborhood as evidence was gathered leading from clues found in the missing firefighter’s abandoned vehicle.

Surveillance video featured one man leaving Aguila’s white 2017 Honda Civic on a San Dimas street during broad daylight. The abandoned car was impounded in San Dimas. Officers searched the vehicle and discovered gloves and bloody clothes in the trunk.

During the ongoing investigation, evidence found during a search warrant served at the 1400 block of Third Street gave West Covina Detectives the belief that the missing person case could be connected to a burned, unidentified body found in a fire in Upland.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is handling the pending positive identification of the discovered burned body.

“Rouse (18) and Cardarelli (37) both face one count of murder with the special circumstance allegation of killing during the commission of a robbery and an allegation that they used a knife as a deadly and dangerous weapon,” said Ricardo Santiago, PIO for the LA DA .

“The two defendants face the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted as charged. A decision on whether to seek capital punishment will be made at a later date.”

Bail is currently set at 1,000,000.00 each. Booking photos of the murder suspects cannot be released pending further investigation. Arraignment was on 8/29/19 at the Pomona branch of the L.A Superior Court.

Eight-Day Search for Missing Firefighter Results in Two Men Charged with Murder was last modified: September 9th, 2019 by admin
Categories: Los Angeles
Tags: knife, murder, robbery