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Suspect in Merced double-homicide picked up by police in Louisiana

Julio Cesar Guevara Bonilla, 52, Is a person of interest in double homicide in Merced.
Julio Cesar Guevara Bonilla, 52, Is a person of interest in double homicide in Merced. Merced Sun-Star

A double homicide suspect sought in the case of two bodies found inside a Mission Avenue home last week is in custody, the Merced County Sheriff's Department confirmed today.

Julio Cesar Guevara Bonilla, 52, was taken into custody by officers with the Kenner Police Department in Jefferson Parish, La. around 5 p.m. Wednesday, according to Undersheriff Bill Blake.

The bodies were discovered Sept. 30 at 440 Mission Avenue. The bodies are believed be those of William Cisneros, 82, and his wife Clara Cisneros, 43, who lived at the house.

While Bonilla was at first sought as a person of interest, his status was upgraded to a suspect this week. A warrant for his arrest was issued Tuesday, according to Sheriff's Detective Chuck Hale. Although Hale didn't provide a motive for the alleged killings, he's confident Bonilla is responsible. "I wouldn't have offered a warrant if I didn't think so," Hale said.

Hale didn't elaborate about the circumstances of Bonilla's arrest in Louisiana. He said detectives had been in San Bernardino County city of Victorville this week, following up on leads in the case. Hale did not elaborate on what those leads were.

Bonilla was a business partner of the couple and lived in their home.

An extradition hearing is scheduled to take place in Jefferson Parish tomorrow, to discuss when Bonilla will be sent to Merced County, Blake said.

Members of the Cisneros family were elated after hearing news of the arrest. Anita Diaz, William Cisneros' niece, said was relieved to hear the news, particularly because her family has many questions, but few answers. "Unfortunately, nothing will bring my uncle back, but now we can have some closure," Diaz said.

The bodies were discovered by animal control agents after the U.S. Postal Service reported they hadn't picked up their mail for some time. Several under-fed dogs were on the property, according to sheriff's investigators.

Investigators said the bodies had been stabbed multiple times. Because the bodies were so badly decomposed, investigators have said more testing is needed to fully confirm their identities.

They were found lying on the floor of their laundry room. The body believed to be Clara Cisneros was covered with a blanket.

Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or