PEORIA, AZ - Police have charged Eduardo Mercado with second degree murder in the drowning death of his friend at a private pond just south of Lake Pleasant Saturday afternoon.
According to Peoria police spokesman Jay Davies, Mercado and another suspect Julian Tamayo admitted they had been using meth when they went to the water area Saturday afternoon with Rueben Diaz and stole two paddle boats that belong to the Maricopa Water District.
The three men had tied the two paddle boats together, and Mercado became angry when Diaz was paddling his boat in the opposite direction Mercado and Tamayo were paddling theirs.
Davies said witnesses nearby observed the men in the water, and called police.
According to police, Mercado threw Diaz in the water, prevented him from coming back aboard the boats, then jumped in and held him under the surface repeatedly, until Diaz finally disappeared below the surface.
Mercado and Tamayo returned to shore, but the witnesses detained them until police arrived.
Divers recovered Diaz’ body, which was stuck in the floor of the pond not far from where the incident was said to have occurred, around 11 a.m. Sunday morning.
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