Probable cause statements in a recent Callaway County homicide reveal new details of the case.
Lauro Garza-Perez, of Columbia, was found dead of gunshot wounds Jan. 6 in the 1500 block of Old Highway 40, near the Boone County line. Two suspects have been charged in the death and are still being sought: Ruben Corales Cabrera, 33, and Emily Ricketts, 22, both of Indianapolis, Indiana. Both are considered armed and dangerous, law officials have said.
"The investigation is ongoing and investigators continue to follow leads, primarily in Columbia," Callaway County Sheriff Clay Chism said Friday. "(The suspects) are obviously doing their best to elude capture."
Two probable cause statements filed by sheriff's Lt. Curtis Hall outline the investigation thus far. They also hint at a possible motive: a conflict between Garza-Perez and Cabrera.
According to the probable cause statement, surveillance footage reviewed by deputies showed a Volkswagen Jetta driven by Garza-Perez heading down Old Highway 40 on Jan. 6, pursued by a red Chevrolet Corvette. Garza-Perez's Jetta entered the parking lot and came to a stop. The Corvette gets stuck in a ditch and a man exits by the driver's side door. Garza-Perez exited the Jetta and fled across the parking lot, attempting to climb a fence. The other man is seen catching up with Garza-Perez and appears to shoot him.
Five Winchester 9mm shell casings were recovered from the scene, Hall stated.
On Jan. 8, deputies found the Jetta in Columbia, being driven by Ricketts' brother — identified as R.R.J. in the statement.
The probable cause statement also states:
R.R.J. told authorities that following the homicide, Ricketts asked to use R.R.J.'s truck and traded him the Jetta. The Jetta is registered to Ricketts, Hall said.
According to Ricketts' father, R.R.S, she and Cabrera — nicknamed "Tiny" — were in a relationship. Both lived in Indianapolis. Deputies worked with the Department of Homeland Security U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to positively identify Cabrera. Cabrera is under several arrest warrants, including one from Florida for distributing cocaine and another from Utah for distribution of a controlled substance.
Cabrera has ties to Mexico and has been deported multiple times, Hall stated.
Ricketts' brother told deputies he and Ricketts' father watched Cabrera spray-paint a red Corvette a darker color following the homicide. He said Cabrera confided to him that he chased Garza-Perez across a field and shot him multiple times. Garza-Perez had threatened Cabrera's family back in Mexico, Cabrera told R.R.J.
"These details regarding the shooting death had never been released to the public," Hall said.
Surveillance footage from a Columbia Walmart shows Ricketts purchasing 100 rounds of ammunition Jan. 5, according to Hall. Then, 95 minutes after the homicide on Jan. 6, Ricketts returned to the Walmart and purchased five cans of black spray paint, a cellphone and a prepaid phone card.
Information from Ricketts' father led deputies to the Corvette in Columbia. It had been spray-painted black.
On Jan. 10, R.R.S. told deputies that following the homicide, Ricketts called him. and arranged to pick up his truck.
"We are going on the run," Ricketts' father told deputies she said. "I love you."
GPS data from a cellphone associated with Cabrera and Ricketts pointed deputies toward Indianapolis. Law enforcement in Indianapolis located and seized R.R.S's truck.
"We are in contact with law enforcement agencies in various areas of interest in efforts to locate the charged suspects," Chism said Friday.
Cabrera and Ricketts have been charged with first-degree murder; Cabrera is also charged with armed criminal action.