VACAVILLE – Vacaville police who have been investigating a murder are sure they have their man, now they are just waiting for his arrival.
Rico Espitia, 21, was arrested in Ocean Shores, Wash., on Tuesday after officers there stopped him on an unrelated issue. When officers ran Espitia’s name, they found an existing warrant in connection with a July 30 Vacaville homicide.
Authorities have linked Espitia to the likely gang-related shooting of Quinten Nears. Espitia is being held without bail awaiting extradition to California, according to the Vacaville Reporter.
“Once he is back here in California, criminal proceedings will begin,” said Vacaville Lt. Randy Weaver. “We expect this to go to trial.”
After receiving several 911 calls reporting gunshots in the area, officers responded to the apartment complex on the 1500 block of Alamo Drive at about 9:17 p.m. on July 30. Police arrived to find Nears lying in the parking lot with multiple gunshot wounds to his upper body. Nears was pronounced dead despite emergency treatment from officers and Vacaville Fire Department personnel.
Authorities searched the area but were unable to locate a gunman. Vacaville’s Investigative Service Section (ISS) took over the investigation, ultimately obtaining the warrant for Espitia’s arrest.
Espitia, according to Lt. Weaver, has a “substantial criminal background.”
“He is a person of interest in several cases over the last two years,” he added. “We have had our eye on him off and on for the last 10 years.”