SNOWFLAKE, AZ-A California man suspected of setting fire to a house in Snowflake on Jan 12 has been arrested in New Mexico, trying to cross into Mexico following a multi-agency, multi-state manhunt.
At about 8 pm on Friday, January 12, the Snowflake-Taylor Police Department responded to a house fire in the 400 block of S Frontier Parkway in Snowflake. The house was unoccupied at the time of the fire.
When officers arrived, they discovered the home was fully engulfed in flames near the rear of the residence. A neighbor notified the officers that the home was a summer home and no one should be inside. Taylor Snowflake Fire and EMS arrived and began suppressing the fire.
Contact was made with the homeowner, who stated the home was a summer home. The owner quickly stated they suspected their brother, Luis Antonio Trujillo, 43, of Oceanside, California, was responsible for starting the fire.
Officers were told that Trujillo was involved in a family argument and threatened to choke the homeowner to death and burn down their house.
“I heard the sirens and walked out of my house and saw the flames, the home looks like a loss, I’m glad no one was home and the LDS Temple is down the street,” said a Snowflake resident.
Detectives were later called to the scene and began working to locate Trujillo. With the help of multiple police agencies spanning California, Arizona and New Mexico, including the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office, the Arizona Highway Patrol, the ATF, FBI and United States Border Patrol, Trujillo was arrested on the afternoon of Sunday, January 14, in Las Cruces, New Mexico by the Border Patrol as he attempted to cross into Mexico.
“I want to thank those agencies for their assistance in the rapid apprehension of Luis Trujillo. It is only due to this quick and coordinated effort that Mr. Trujillo was unsuccessful in fleeing the country and will be forced to face the consequences of his actions,” stated Chief Robert Martin of the Snowflake-Taylor Police Department.
Trujillo is being detained in Las Cruces New Mexico on a federal arrest warrant on charges of arson and threatening and intimidation.
The case is still under investigation and coordination of extradition back to Navajo County is ongoing.
“I am impressed with the quick and effective teamwork shown by multiple local, county, state and federal agencies that rallied their resources together to help us ensure everything possible could be done to locate the suspect in this case,” stated Chief Martin.
Molly K Ottman Executive Editor/Senior Journalist
Featured Picture Courtesy-Quince Amos of Snowflake