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One arrested after deaths of three cousins found dead in the West Valley

Juan Vargas
Posted at 12:11 PM, Mar 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-03 19:34:10-05

PHOENIX — Officials say one person was arrested in connection to the murder investigation of three cousins from Mexico, whose bodies were found in the West Valley.

Abimael Jimenez Morenos, 16, Isauro Martinez Dominguez, 21, and Herminio Perez Ramirez, 28, were found dead near 99th Avenue and Mobile Lane, south of Broadway Road, last month.

The victims were cousins from Oaxaca, Mexico. The three were reportedly driving to Wisconsin to live with relatives and start a better life, the family said.

According to court paperwork, all three victims died of gunshot wounds.

ABC15 was at the scene near 19th and Monroe streets late Wednesday morning when officials were combing through a home and at least two people were detained by police.

Police said Thursday morning one person, identified as 21-year-old Juan Romiro Vargas, was arrested Wednesday night in the case.

Juan Vargas

Vargas faces three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping, armed robbery, and trying to hide a dead body.

The Maricopa County Superior Court judge Thursday set a $3 million cash bond.

"The court does find that you pose a substantial risk of danger to the community and flight to avoid prosecution," said the judge.

Vargas — through a translator — said he wanted to be released so he could help his sick mom.

"I have no reason to flee. Just tell me what court and I will appear. I just need to be able to work to give my mother some money," said the translator.

The state prosecutor called them brutal murders.

"He's engaged in a very dangerous world involved trafficking," she said.

The family is working to bring the bodies of the slain cousins back home to Mexico.

The Christian band that Morenos played in for years is now fundraising to help with the family's funeral costs.