Final victims in Mojave Desert shooting massacre identified

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

The final two victims who were among six people found shot to death in the Mojave Desert were identified Friday night.

The massacre took place on Jan. 23 in a remote desert area in Adelanto, located in San Bernardino County.  

At the time, the San Bernardino County deputies received a call from one of the victims, Franklin Noel Bonilla, 22, saying he had been shot.

Deputies responded to the area at around 8:15 p.m. and with assistance from a California Highway Patrol airship, quickly located five bodies. The sixth victim was discovered the following morning.

All of the victims had been shot to death while four of them were also burned, authorities said. The four victims who were initially identified were:

  • Baldemar Mondragon-Albarran, 34, of Adelanto 
  • Franklin Noel Bonilla, 22, of Hesperia 
  • Kevin Dariel Bonilla, 25, of Hesperia 
  • Jose Ruelas-Calderon, 45, of El Mirage 

The last two victims to be identified Friday night are:

  • Narcisco Sandoval, 47
  • Adrian Ochoa-Salgado, 41

The circumstances leading up to the killings remain unclear, but investigators believe it may have stemmed from a dispute over illegal marijuana.  

At the scene, a dark-colored Chevrolet Trailblazer with an Oregon license plate had shattered windows and was riddled with bullet holes. Just yards away, a white Dodge Caravan minivan was also found.

Following the deadly shooting incident, authorities used human and technological sources to track down and arrest five suspects who were identified as:

  • Toniel Baez-Duarte, 34, of Apple Valley
  • Mateo Baez-Duarte, 24, of Apple Valley
  • Jose Nicolas Hernandez-Sarabia, 33, of Adelanto
  • Jose Gregorio Hernandez-Sarabia, 34, of Adelanto
  • Jose Manuel Burgos Parra, 26, of Adelanto

County investigators have not confirmed whether the massacre is related to the cross-border drug trade saying, “We can’t comment on if this is cartel-related or not.”

The Shadow Mountain area, which is just west of where the murders took place, is known for illicit marijuana incidents, according to SBSD Sherriff Shannon Dicus.

The killings remain under investigation. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Detective Michelle Del Rio at 909-890-4904 or Deputy Coroner Carol Fostore at 909-387-2978.  

Anonymous tips can be provided to We-Tip at 1-800-782-7463 or online at

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.