Because the area is particularly isolated, the Sheriff’s Department sought navigation help from the California Highway Patrol’s aviation division.
After deputies arrived, they found four men with severe burns and another man in a sport utility vehicle. The two vehicles found on the scene were a Dodge Caravan and a Chevrolet Trailblazer, one of which had several bullet holes. The next day, investigators found an additional victim a short distance away.
Four of the six victims have been identified: Baldemar Mondragon-Albarran, 34, of Adelanto; Franklin Noel Bonilla, 22, of Hesperia; Kevin Dariel Bonilla, 25, of Hesperia; and a 45-year-old man whose name was not released, pending notification of his relatives. Franklin Bonilla is believed to have made the 911 call.
On Sunday, the authorities served search warrants in several communities near where the bodies were found. Detectives recovered evidence, including eight firearms that will be analyzed to determine whether they were used in the killings. The suspects were arrested at a compound near what the authorities said appeared to be a future growing operation.
Investigators determined that arrangements had been made for the suspects to meet the victims at the remote location for a marijuana transaction.