2 suspects arrested on suspicion of murder amid search for missing West Covina firefighter

LA VERNE, Calif. (KABC) -- Two suspects were arrested on suspicion of murder amid the ongoing search for a West Covina man, a firefighter who has been missing since last week, authorities said.

The West Covina Police Department identified them as Elijah Thomas Rouse, 18, and Shaun Cardarelli, 37. Three people were also detained after a West Covina SWAT team descended on a home in La Verne on Tuesday morning. It's not clear if the suspects who were booked were among those detained.

Detectives believe this case may be connected to a burned body that was discovered in Upland last week, but authorities have yet to determine if the body is that of John Brian Mananghaya Aguila, who had not been heard from since Thursday afternoon.

Family members contacted police over the weekend and reported that the 28-year-old had not reported to work or returned home, adding that such conduct was uncharacteristic of him.

Aguila was last seen on his way home from his girlfriend's house Thursday night.

Investigators later learned that Aguila's white 2017 Honda Civic had been discovered in San Dimas on Friday and impounded. Surveillance video shows "a male leaving from the car and walking away from it," police said in a statement, but it was determined that the individual was not Aguila.

Authorities said gloves and clothing with blood on it were found in the trunk of the Civic, and evidence collected helped investigators identify the male seen in the video.

Authorities then served a search warrant at a home in 1400 block of Third Street where the three people were detained.

VIDEO: 3 detained in La Verne after gloves, bloody clothing found in trunk in West Covina missing person case
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A SWAT team descended on a home in La Verne and three people were detained amid the ongoing search for a West Covina man who has been missing since last week.

"The dots have led us here, and we're hoping that as a result of this investigation, it's going to lead us elsewhere," said Rudy Lopez of the West Covina Police Department.

Investigators are processing the scene in La Verne and checking to see if there are links to any murders in the area.

Police aren't sure if Aguila is still alive.

Bail for Rouse and Cardarelli has been set at $1 million each. Their connection to Aguila is unclear.

Anyone with information about Aguila's whereabouts is asked to call West Covina police at (626) 939-8557. Anonymous tips can be left on a recorded line at (626) 939-8688.
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