4th suspect in kidnapping-murder case arrested in Pasco


by KREM.com


Posted on March 8, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Updated Sunday, Mar 9 at 7:18 AM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Within days of a reported kidnapping in Spokane and the location of a body in Stevens County, Spokane Police detectives arrested a fourth person in connection to the on-going investigation.  Benito Baldovinos-Mendoza, 40, was taken into custody Friday in Pasco.

Baldovinos-Mendoza was booked into the Spokane County Jail Friday night on two charges of 1st Degree Kidnapping.

Baldovinos-Mendoza is accused with three other men, all arrested Friday, in the kidnapping and murder investigation:  Domingo Valdovinos, 26, Dillon Casteel, 23, and Joseph Gillespie, 33.

WATCH: Court documents detail murder-kidnapping case

Court documents filed late Friday afternoon revealed the suspects' alleged involvement.

Authorities interviewed the murder victim’s girlfriend who explained what happened. She claimed her boyfriend, Casteel, and Valdovinos had been trafficking drugs. Court documents stated that the three men were at odds over money. She claimed that Casteel convinced Valdovinos that her boyfriend had stolen money and drugs.

According to the account, the victim was killed at Gillespie’s home near Maple and Knox after a fight Feb. 28.  The girlfriend reported hearing three gunshots.  Court records also said Gillespie then hit her boyfriend with a metal baseball bat.

WATCH: ISP takes person into custody, linked to kidnapping investigation

The girlfriend told police that she was forced into a bedroom when she tried to intervene.  Records stated that suspects restrained her using rope and duct tape.  

The woman was later released.  She told authorities the suspects threatened to kill her if she reported what had happened.