A man from Earlimart has been arrested for allegedly killing a man in an arson fire in Oregon, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.
Jonathon Leo Mendez Gonzalez, 26, was arrested Friday in Earlimart, a town halfway between Fresno and Bakersfield.
On Aug. 6, a fire broke out in a hotel room in the coastal city of Newport, Oregon. A hotel guest in a different room was critically burned and died from his injuries.
Oregon investigators said the fire was caused by arson and identified Gonzalez as the suspect.
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They reached out to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office for help and local detectives investigated the case for two months. They found Gonzalez in Earlimart, and he was interviewed by Oregon detectives about the fire.
On Oct. 4, Oregon officials obtained a $2 million arrest warrant for Gonzalez.
Tulare County Sheriff’s detectives and a fugitive apprehension team on Friday found Gonzalez at a home in Earlimart. He was booked into the Pre-Trial Facility and is awaiting extradition to Oregon.
He faces charges of murder, arson, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, assault, mischief, theft and reckless burning. The case remains under investigation.