Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Tue, December 4 2012 at 4:37 PM, Updated: Tue, December 4 2012 at 4:49 PM
Investigators in Klamath County are now saying that a drug deal gone bad may have sparked a recent double homicide near Bonanza.
The bodies of 32 year old Everardo Mendez-Ceja and 38 year old Ricardo Jauregui were found on a horse ranch just outside of Bonanza on October 18th.
Klamath County Deputy District Attorney Sharon Forster says that investigators now believe that the men were shot over a drug deal...
"Our investigation has revealed, that I don't believe that horses were actually involved in this case - it was drug related, it appears to have been drug related."
A burned-out truck belonging to Jauregui was found on October 6th, about six miles from where the bodies were eventually located.
Mendez-Ceja was reported as 'missing' by his family on October 11th. A poster seeking their whereabouts was displayed in the Bonanza area. Forster notes that police still haven't found a 'Joaquin Lopez' named on that poster...
"The gentleman that they came to see that day, supposedly about a horse - and we have been unable to locate him, and talk to him about this."
Forster adds that Joaquin Lopez is regarded as a person of interest. "If anybody has any information, I would encourage them to contact the Sheriff's Department. We have come to a dead end on leads, and being able to locate any suspects in this case."
...And even a small piece of information could provide a big break in the case.
The bodies were not immediately identified due to their state of decomposition. Positive identifications were not made on Jauregui and Mendez-Ceja until late October.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.