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URGENT Winery Worker Wanted In Slaying of Seven People Arrested In Mexico

April 19, 1989

MEXICO CITY (AP) _ A California winery worker wanted in the slaying of seven people, including his wife and two of his three little daughters, was arrested in Mexico, a U.S. Embassy source said today.

Ramon Salcido, 28, was arrested in a rural area around Ciudad Obregon, 900 miles northwest of Mexico City in Sonora state, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

″He is in the custody of the Federal Judiciary Police. Salcido was arrested in a rural area around Ciudad Obregon, that’s my understanding. We have no other details,″ the source said.

U.S. Embassy spokesman Bill Graves said he had no details around the arrest and didn’t know if Salcido is an American citizen. ″We don’t know for the moment what his citizenship is,″ he said.

Vicente Mendoza, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, said he could not confirm or deny the report. The Federal Judiciary Police is a branch of the attorney general’s office.

″We have no information for the time being,″ he said.

Ciudad Obregon is 120 miles north of Salcido’s hometown of Los Mochis.

The arrest came a day after California authorities reported numerous possible sightings of Salcido.

Services were being held in Glen Ellen, Calif., today for some of the six members of Salcido’s family who were killed. About 300 people attended a memorial service Tuesday for another of the victims, Tracy Toovey. Twenty sheriff’s deputies attended to keep an eye out for Salcido.

Authorities in California also said Salcido, a forklift operator who worked with Toovey at a winery, may have been spotted in San Francisco sometime after the slayings began Friday morning. Salcido’s mother, Valentino Bojorquez Armendariz, said her son called her on Friday and told her ″Mama, this is last time you will hear my voice.″

Ms. Bojorquez said her eldest son was sobbing in the brief phone call to her home in Los Mochis, the Los Angeles Times reported in today’s editions. Ms. Bojorquez said her memory of the conversation wasn’t clear, but she remembered that Salcido said, ″I have problems and I’m going to kill myself,″ or ″I have problems and they’re going to kill me.″

He then hung up, and Ms. Bojorquez said she had not heard from him since.

Sometime between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. Friday, the fugitive’s wife, mother-in- law, two sisters-in-law, and Toovey, were butchered, shot or both. On Saturday, three of Salcido’s daughters were found with their throats cut, two of them dead.

The surviving girl, 3-year-old Carmina, is recovering in Petaluma Valley Hospital, where she underwent a tracheotomy and is breathing through the hole in her throat to give the cut a chance to heal. She told investigators her father cut her and her sisters,.

Salcido’s friends said the binge began Wednesday night, a day after Salcido had been served with Fresno County, California, court papers ordering him to pay $511 a month support for a 4 1/2 -year-old daughter from another marriage, plus nearly $6,000 to the county for back payments.

Salcido has been charged with four of the killings and is sought on a federal warrant for flight to avoid prosecution.

In San Francisco, affidavits filed against Salcido in U.S. District Court this week revealed he left a note asking God’s mercy and blaming the law for the bloody rampage, apparently referring to the court order in the child- support case.

In Glen Ellen, residents said they were keeping loaded guns at the ready. Teen-agers hanging out on the corner of Shone’s Grocery peer sharply at every car going by. Deputies in their patrol cars - their dashboards plastered with enlarged photos of Salcido - do the same thing.

At El Verano, down the road from Boyes Hot Springs, where Salcido lived, Abbie Thomas was nervous that the suspect was still on the loose. Her children, she said, were ″freaked out ... all of us - we’re keeping our kids close. Who knows what he can do next?″

″I hope they torture him, string him up,″ said 77-year-old Lela Schaefer. ″I can’t think of anything bad enough.″

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