Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013 | 5:20 p.m.
A Las Vegas man has been arrested on suspicion that he fatally shot the groundskeeper of his brother-in-law’s property in northwestern Arizona over the weekend.
According to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, the suspect’s relatives were sitting around a campfire just west of Dolan Springs, Ariz., Saturday afternoon when a single gunshot rang out in the distance.
Jose Isabel Licea-Mendoza, 35, then approached the campfire and allegedly told the group that he’d shot the property’s groundskeeper. Using a flashlight, relatives discovered the victim’s body on the ground about 40 feet from the campfire.
The entire family returned to Nevada on Sunday.
While Licea-Mendoza returned to the Dolan Springs property late Monday, his brother-in-law called Mohave County authorities from Nevada to report the incident and to notify them that Licea-Mendoza was on his way there.
Authorities searched the area and discovered the victim’s body along with a .41 caliber handgun. Licea-Mendoza was arrested without incident and charged with first-degree murder, though he denied any involvement in the shooting.
The victim, who is believed to be from El Salvador, has not yet been identified. He is believed to be in his 40s, weighs 150 pounds, and is 5 feet, 6 inches tall.