Two Suspects Arrested in Murder of Long Beach Resident Found in Burned SUV

A second suspect has been arrested in connection with the murder of a 42-year-old Long Beach resident last month after his body was discovered bound in the back of a burning SUV that firefighters put out in Rancho Palos Verdes.

Jose Angel Martinez, 18, was booked at the Lakewood Sheriff's station with his bail set at $1 million dollars on suspicion of murdering Long Beach's Christopher Waters. The Compton native is scheduled to appear in court Friday, according to Deputy Mark Pope of Sherriff’s Headquarters Bureau.

A 17-year-old boy who turned himself in last week has been identified as Adrian Berumen because he is being prosecuted as an adult. Berumen turns 18 next month and was arrested late last month and charged with the murder of Waters after he turned himself into authorities four days after the discovery of Waters‘ charred body on a street in the ritzy suburb.

According to authorities, Berumen walked into the Long Beach Police Department and asked to speak with homicide detectives about the slaying. He was interviewed and Sherriff’s homicide detectives were dispatched. Investigators were able to determine that Waters was killed in Long Beach and was driven to Rancho Palos Verdes where the vehicle was set ablaze. If Waters was killed in April, it would be the eighth murder that month. 

Sherriff’s deputies arrested Berumen and he was transported to Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall where he is being held without bail. According to Saldana, murder charges have also been filed against the teen by the District Attorney’s Office. His arraignment is set for May 21 at the Long Beach Courthouse.

Deputy Mark Pope of the Sherriff’s Headquarters Bureau said that homicide detectives were dispatched April 23 to 30100 Miraleste Drive where a car fire was put out revealing a body in the back portion of the vehicles. The victim, who was found with his feet bound and a cord wrapped around his neck was identified as Waters, according to Deputy Guillermina Saldana. Waters lived and worked in Long Beach.

Deputies have yet to release a cause of death, what the relationship, if any, was between the two males and if they’ve identified a motive in the murder.

Anyone with information regarding the killing is encouraged to call the Sherriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.

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