Las Vegas man charged in shooting death of Arizona property caretaker

A Las Vegas man shot and killed the caretaker of a northwestern Arizona property this weekend, police said.

Jose Isabel Licea-Mendoza, 35, his sister and his brother-in-law were visiting a five-acre lot about 12 miles west of Dolan Springs Saturday night, according to Trish Carter, spokeswoman for the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office. A caretaker lived in a travel trailer on the lot.

While the sister, brother-in-law and several children were huddled around a campfire, they heard a gunshot. Licea-Mendoza returned and told them he had shot the caretaker, who was found unresponsive about 40 feet away, Carter said.

The group returned to Las Vegas on Sunday and the owner of the property, who is related to the three adults, was notified of the incident.

The property owner, who lives in Las Vegas and was not present at the time of the shooting, called police to report the incident. Responding deputies recovered the body of the caretaker, a resident of El Salvador who has not been formally identified, from a grave that had been dug about 200 feet from the trailer, Carter said.

Licea-Mendoza returned to the Arizona property Sunday and was arrested without incident Monday afternoon.

He was booked into jail in Kingman and faces a charge of first-degree murder.


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