Two brothers have been arrested in connection with the disappearance of missing California teen Aranda Briones after investigators discovered evidence in the suspects’ backyard that led them to believe Briones may be dead.
Owen Skyler Shover, 18, was arrested on suspicion of murder by a Riverside County Sheriff’s SWAT team, while his older brother, Gary Anthony Shover, 21, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy, according to The Press-Enterprise, a local Riverside newspaper.
“I don’t know what was taken from their backyard, but I do know evidence was collected that confirmed (our investigators’ belief) that Miss Briones was the victim of a homicide,” Sheriff’s Lt. Chris Durham told the paper.
Investigators plan to present their evidence to the District Attorney’s Office, as the search for the teen’s body continues.
A neighbor of the suspects in Hesperia told KABC several items were taken from the home.
“It was like a blanket and a coat, and then they started sitting all these little markers around and digging in other places,” the neighbor said.
Owen had been with the teen the day she disappeared and had been considered a friend of Briones. He told investigators he had dropped her off between 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Jan. 13 at the Moreno Valley Community Park, however, investigators were unable to find any surveillance footage at the park that confirmed that story, according to KTLA.
Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco has declined to provide a possible motive in the case, but said investigators have been working tirelessly to find the teen since she disappeared a month ago.
“This has been an exhaustive, 24-hour, seven-day-a-week effort to locate Ms. Briones, and with that investigation, we uncovered enough evidence to arrest both of them,” Bianco said at a press conference, according to the paper.
Briones had been living with her grandparents in Moreno Valley but was reunited with her father in November. Landry “Chapo Lee” Briones is still hopeful is daughter is alive despite the arrests, but said if she’s not, those responsible will need to be held accountable.
“Whoever killed my daughter, they are going to have to meet their maker. When you meet God, let’s see if you can stare him in the face,” he told the paper.
The teen’s uncle, Matthew Horstkotte, also spoke with reporters and said the family is still grieving the loss.
“Her room’s empty in the house. … She wanted to go to college, she loved helping people,” Horstkotte said according to KTLA. “And it’s taken away. I don’t wish this on anyone.”
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.