Santa Maria police make three arrests in 2017 murder case

Thomas Castillo, Nicholas Guzman and Juan Contreras

Santa Maria police have arrested three men who are accused of involvement in an apparently gang related murder that occurred last September.

Early in the morning On Sept. 3, 2017, Edward Ramirez, 19, was shot and killed in the 2000 block North Lazo Way. Officers found Ramirez’s body near the roadway.

Since the shooting, detectives had continued investigating the murder. On Thursday, police announced the arrest of three suspects on charges of gang conspiracy to commit murder.

The suspects are: Thomas Castillo, Nicholas Guzman and Juan Contreras. Castillo and Guzman are also charged with a count each of gang conspiracy for possession of a firearm.

Police say the case remains under investigation. Anyone who has information about the homicide is asked to call (805) 928-3781 ext. 2278 or the police department tip line at (805) 928-3781 ext. 2677.

At least one other recent Santa Maria murder suspect remains on the loose. Police announced this week that they are searching for a Hispanic man between the ages of 30 and 40 who stabbed to death an 82-year-old man at a mobile home park for elderly people last month.

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