Local News

Friday, Jun 21 2013 11:30 AM

Reports: Murder suspect seen with bloody hands; body found in garage

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    By Autumn Parry / The Californian

    Eddie Rivas (right) listens to the judge speak during his arraignment at Kern County Superior Court earlier this month. Rivas is being charged with murder, assaulting a police officer and battery of an inmate.

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    By Autumn Parry / The Californian

    Prosecutor David Wilson answers questions in regard to Eddie Rivas's arraignment at Kern County Superior Court on Friday afternoon. Rivas is being charged with murder, assaulting a police officer and battery of an inmate.

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    After responding to a call of suspicious circumstances at 909 Vista St. in in east Bakersfield, sheriff's deputies found a body in a detached garage on the property.

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    By Autumn Parry / The Californian

    Jo Amy Balderas and Hope De La Olla sit with family and friends to talk about their deceased cousin, Mia Ramirez, outside of Higher Ground Church on Monday afternoon. Their family is having a carwash to raise money for Ramirez's burial after Ramirez was found dead in a garage in southeast Bakersfield June 11.

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    By Photo courtesy of the Lowe family

    A picture of Mia Ramirez from November 2012. Ramirez was found dead in a southeast Bakersfield garage June 11.

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BY JASON KOTOWSKI Californian staff writer jkotowski@bakersfield.com

Eddie Rivas denied having anything to do with the dead body found in the garage where he lived, but witnesses told detectives they saw him run from the garage armed with a knife and two days earlier he’d been spotted with blood on his hands.

Rivas was charged with murder Friday and his arraignment was postponed to June 28 while the Public Defender’s office checks for conflicts of interest in representing him. Rivas, a short, stocky man with the sides of his head shaved, only spoke to confirm his identity to Judge Michael G. Bush and agree to the postponement.

A probable cause declaration filed in Kern County Superior Court on Friday said Rivas was seen with the victim on a surveillance video on June 8. The victim — 18-year-old Mia Ramirez — was wearing the same clothes as when deputies found her badly mutilated body wrapped in carpet in the garage.

The declaration says Rivas told detectives he couldn’t remember the past week, and only remembers walking around his back yard the morning of his arrest.

At one point during the interview after his arrest, Rivas’ handcuffs were removed to make him more comfortable. The declaration says Rivas then charged at and punched two Kern County Sheriff’s officials before being driven to the ground.

Later during the booking process, Rivas kicked an inmate who was sitting in the area, the declaration says. Charges of battery and resisting an executive officer were added to the murder charge.

Deputies found Ramirez’s body June 11 after responding to a “suspicious circumstances” call in the 900 block of Vista Street, south of Niles Street and west of Oswell Street. The homeowner directed deputies to a detached garage where there was a foul odor and discovered Ramirez wrapped in the carpet.

Deputies identified Rivas, 20, as the suspect and arrested him later that day. He’s being held on $1 million bail.

Rivas’ brother has said Rivas lived at the house on Vista Street with his mother and her boyfriend.

A motive has not been given, and prosecutor David Wilson said outside court that there was little he could talk about in connection with the case.

In July 2011, Rivas was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading no contest to assault with a deadly weapon other than a gun. Four other charges were dismissed.

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