3 arrested in connection with Fontana man's death


Alejandro Padilla, 40, disappeared after leaving for work early on the morning of July 26. He was found dead later that night in Rialto in his burned car.

Fontana Police detectives arrested Edward Anthony Morales and Richard Gonzalez, both 18-year-old Fontana residents, on suspicion of murder on Tuesday.

Morales's mother, 37-year-old Fontana resident Alma Casada, was arrested as an accessory to murder.

Police said Morales had formerly dated Padilla's daughter, and knew the victim and his family.

"Apparently there was [tension] in the past," said Fontana Police Sgt. Doug Imhof. "I don't know to what extent that the father was involved in the ending of the relationship, but the relationship did end at some point."

Padilla's car was found parked in Flores Park on the 1000 block of West Etiwanda Avenue at about 10 p.m. on July 26. The black Nissan Versa was found torched with a body inside. The San Bernardino County Coroner's Office confirmed was Padilla's.

Padilla had been missing since early the same morning. Investigators believe he was assaulted and kidnapped from his driveway.

Police said they received calls about someone yelling for help in the 6800 block of Beechcraft Avenue around 5 a.m. on July 26.

When police arrived on scene, they found a broken bat and blood spattered on the driveway and smeared on the side of the house. Padilla and his black Nissan Versa were gone.

One of the victim's co-workers said it looked like Padilla was jumped as he was getting into his car. He said there was body damage to another car in the driveway, skid marks in the grass and a bloody shirt left in the street. He also said Padilla's computer and phone were left strewn on the driveway.

A $10,000 reward had been offered in the case, but it was not clear if that led to Tuesday's arrest.

Anyone with information about the case was urged to contact Fontana Police at (909) 350-7700.

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