The case involving the murder of Venancio Garcia-Arquimides, 42, of Bloomingburg, was transferred to a Fayette County grand jury yesterday at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing in the Washington C.H. Municipal Court.
Tuesday, a witness testified finding Arquimides unresponsive and with head wounds July 20 in his bedroom in an apartment building at 11928 State Route 38 near Yatesville.
Law enforcement officers arrived on the scene at approximately 6:45 p.m. July 20. After interviewing friends and co-workers of Arquimides, as well as other residents in the building, German Posados-Cruz, 49, and German Posados-Hernenegildo, 22, were identified as suspects.
Witnesses said Cruz and Hernenegildo had told friends they were quitting their jobs at a cattle farm in Madison County and were going back to Mexico. Law enforcement sent out an alert with the description and picture of Hernenegildo and his truck in the early morning on July 21. Cruz and Hernenegildo were arrested later that day by Illinois State Police.
Their clothing was taken into evidence. There was a blood stain on a pair of pants worn by Cruz and a preliminary test indicated there was some blood on a pair of boots that were found in the back of Hernenegildo’s truck, according to Sgt. Ed Ward of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office. He said the boots found in the back of Hernenegildo’s truck matched the boot tread pattern in the blood on the carpet in Arquimides’ apartment.
Hernenegildo’s attorney, Thomas J.C. Arrington, said there was a lot of discussion during Thursday’s hearing around the boots, but that it didn’t necessarily prove to be direct evidence that his client was involved in Arquimides’ death. Those style of boots are very popular, said Arrington.
“These two gentlemen worked at a ranch with cattle…we have no testing at this time to show the blood found on my client or his father was human or that it came from the deceased,” said Arrington.
Arrington said the case relies heavily on circumstantial evidence.
“Beyond the boots there is no direct evidence tying my client or his father to this incident at the time,” said Arrington.
According to Sgt. Ward, the friends and co-workers of Arquimides, and the neighbors who lived in the apartment building, led law enforcement to believe Hernenegildo was involved in Arquimides’ death.
“We had several individuals advise us of a conflict or altercation between Gernenegildo and Arquimides a few months prior,” said Ward. “We were told he (Hernenegildo) was the only person in the apartment complex who wore a boot that was consistent with the boot patterns in the blood on the carpet.”
But Arrington showed in his cross-examination that it was possible other people had access to enter Arquimides’ apartment before law enforcement arrived on the scene in the evening of July 20.
Cruz and Hernenegildo were seen cashing their paychecks in Columbus shortly after 9 a.m. on July 20, according to testimony. Law enforcement obtained a court order to be able to track the phone used by Hernenegildo and it indicated they had gone to Indianapolis after they left Columbus. A time of death for Arquimides has not been determined, according to information provided in the hearing.
Victor Pontious, Washington C.H. Municipal Court Judge, said, “We do have unique tread patterns of the boots that appear similar to the boots found in the truck. We have incriminating statements made by the defendant. And we have previous animosity between the defendant and the victim. I believe it’s enough to establish proof…we will transfer the case to the Fayette County grand jury for further proceedings.”
Reach Ashley at the Record-Herald (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton