Man arrested Saturday believed to be perpetrator in Douglas County, Reno homicides |

Man arrested Saturday believed to be perpetrator in Douglas County, Reno homicides

Kurt Hildebrand
Wilbur Ernesto Martinez Guzman

A 19-year-old man who is in custody on immigration and theft charges is believed to be the perpetrator of four Western Nevada homicides.

Wilbur Ernesto Martinez Guzman was arrested at 4:30 p.m. Saturday after investigators determined Friday that he was a suspect, officials announced at a Sunday afternoon press conference.

“I feel strongly we have the man responsible for this,” Douglas County Sheriff Dan Coverley said. “You can continue to go about your daily activities. We’ve worked hard to bring some peace to you.”

The community was on high alert following two killings in five days. They occurred in Gardnerville Ranchos less than 1 mile apart.

Just days after the second killing, two Reno residents were killed at their home on La Guardia Lane. Authorities said there were similarities between the three cases.

Each one appeared to target elderly, vulnerable people. And on Friday, authorities confirmed that a firearm was used in all three cases.

Sunday’s press conference was conducted by Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam. Also present were members of the families of the four victims, Coverley, Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong, Douglas County District Attorney Mark Jackson and Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks.

Furlong said that Martinez Guzman was placed under 24-hour surveillance after he was determined to be a suspect.

He is facing counts of burglary, possession of stolen property and obtaining money by false pretenses. Furlong said he is on an immigration hold.

Jackson said it has yet to be determined whether Martinez Guzman will appear in Douglas or Washoe county courts.

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