COLTON, Calif. (KABC) --A 24-year-old Colton man was arrested on suspicion of murder after a body was found in a shallow grave.
Outside the home where the discovery was made, a memorial was growing for the 61-year-old homeowner found buried in his own backyard. Neighbors say the victim they knew only as Gary was a quiet man who kept to himself.
"He didn't deserve that. He did not deserve that, and I just can't believe it," said neighbor Adela Hernandez.
The Colton Police Department responded to a missing person's call around 5:16 p.m. Monday. During the investigation, officers learned the missing person may have been a homicide victim.
Around 2:45 p.m. Tuesday, authorities responded to the 1600 block of Jantzen Avenue and detained a person of interest.
Detectives searched the home and found a shallow grave with remains in the backyard. The suspect, identified as Flavio Delgadillo, was arrested and booked into the San Bernardino County West Valley Detention Center on suspicion of murder.
The suspect is the victim's neighbor and did some landscaping for him.
Pricilla Loaiza, the suspect's cousin, says the father of two struggled to make ends meet but was not a troublemaker. Even so, she doesn't believe this was a case of self-defense.
Police say it was Delgadillo who told investigators where to find the victim's body.
The San Bernardino County Coroner's Office assisted detectives to recover the body and evidence at the scene. The investigation was ongoing.