INDIO — Following the murder of a 19-year-old woman, homicide investigators arrested one man and are currently seeking a second armed and dangerous suspect.
On Sunday May 8, at about 03:21 PM, witnesses reported a shooting in Indio to the California Highway Patrol. In response to the call deputies from the Palm Desert Riverside Sheriff’s Station arrived at the scene of the crime, which had occurred on eastbound I-10 between Bob Hope Drive and Washington Street in the County of Riverside.
At the scene, authorities discovered a wounded victim. The deputies identified the woman as Maria Guadalupe Mendoza, 19, of Coachella and called for emergency services, which transported the victim to a local hospital for a gunshot injury. Shortly after arriving at the hospital, Mendoza succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased.
The Riverside Sheriff’s Department Central Homicide Unit assumed the investigation upon Mendoza’s death. The investigators were able to identify a suspect, Andrew Castro, age 19 of Palm Springs, who was arrested. Castro was booked into the Riverside County jail in Indio.
The investigators were also able to identify a second suspect, Damian De Los Santos, age 22 of Cathedral City. Authorities were unable to find De Los Santos. The Riverside Sheriff’s Department warns that De Los Santos should be considered armed and dangerous and is requesting the public’s assistance in locating him.
Authorities are advising the public that if De Los Santos is seen, the witness should call 911 to report his whereabouts. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Investigator Paixao from the Central Homicide Unit at 760-393-3526.