Sheriff: Coachella man shot mother of twins after custody exchange


Salvador Velasquez was arrested Friday on suspicion of killing two women in Moreno Valley.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Office has identified two women believed to have been shot and killed Friday by a Coachella man and says the women were killed shortly after a child custody exchange in “a domestic violence case.”

The women, who were found in a vehicle on the west side of Moreno Valley and later died at a local hospital, have been identified as Esmeralda Casillas, 36, and her 68-year-old mother, Ofelia Casillas. Both women were residents of El Cajon, a San Diego suburb.

On Monday, the sheriff’s department announced that Salvador Velasquez, 39, had been arrested Saturday at his home in Coachella on suspicion of killing the mother and daughter. Jail records show Velasquez was arrested on Calle Geranio, a residential street on the east side of Coachella near Interstate 10.

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On Tuesday, the department said Velasquez gave birth to two seven-year-old twin boys from Esmeralda Casillas before shooting her and her mother around 7:45 p.m. Friday. They said the twin boys were found safe at Velasquez’s home on Saturday.

The release did not mention who took custody of the boys. However, a person who identified herself as a relative of Esmeralda and Ofelia Casillas told The Desert Sun that the children had been placed in the care of Velasquez’s parents.

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“We, the family of Esmeralda and Ofelia, are seeking community support to find the children and bring them into our loving home, away from a potentially cold-hearted and cruel killer who could harm them,” the family member said. , Adrian Olascoaga. .

Olascoaga did not say how he was related to the couple, but other news outlets have reported that he is a grandson of Ofelia Casillas and cousin of Esmeralda Casillas. He said the family is united and hopes for community support to take custody of the children.

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The custody exchange took place regularly in Moreno Valley as part of their custody agreement after a years-long custody battle, he said.

Velasquez is in jail in Indio and was not offered bail, according to prison records. He did not appear to have been formally charged as of Tuesday morning.

Paul Albani-Burgio covers breaking news and the city of Palm Springs. Follow him on Twitter @albaniburgiop and via email at [email protected]

This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Sheriff: Coachella man shot mother of twins after custody exchange


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