Friends and coworkers describe the victim, Wes Uyekawa, as a nice and happy man. He was a caretaker at McCall Self Storage & Car Wash on the 27000 block of McCall Boulevard and lived on the property.
According to investigators, 37-year-old Jeremy Robbins of Lancaster hung some dry cleaning on a back fence while he was vacuuming the inside of his car last Saturday. But when he took off, he left his dry cleaning behind.
Robbins came back the next morning to look for it. Police say even though it was someone else who ended up stealing his dry cleaning, Robbins blamed Uyekawa and attacked him. Robbins fled the scene before police arrived.
Responding officers say Uyekawa was complaining of abdominal pain. He was transported to a local hospital, but released later that day. His coworker, Stephanie Prado, says she found his body the following morning.
"He was hurting, so I went back to check on him and I found him," said Prado.
Police say it appears Uyekawa died due to complications from the injuries he sustained during the attack.
"Wes had nothing to do with it. It was somebody else who took his dry cleaning that he left here. Wes paid a high price for somebody else taking it. That's terrible," said Prado. "He was a happy guy. He didn't deserve this."
Detectives reviewed surveillance cameras on the property and were able to identify Robbins as the suspect. They located and arrested him on Wednesday.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information regarding this incident was asked to call Investigator Thurm of the Sheriff's Central Homicide Unit at (951) 955-2777, or Detective Flores of the Menifee Police Department at (951) 210-1000.