Police and an organization called Mothers Against Murder are offering a $20,000 reward for help capturing and convicting a suspect in a double-homicide that occurred in mid-October 2018 in an industrial park in East Palo Alto.
Eduardo "Lalo" Alvarado Sandoval, 22, and Mario Andres Vidales Mendez, 23, were gunned down on October 14, 2018 at what was described as a pre-Halloween birthday party at the A1 Auto Services & Towing lot on the 2500 block of Pulgas Avenue in East Palo Alto. As the Palo Alto Daily Post reported at the time, the suspect in the case went un-captured by police in the months following the double-murder, and San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe suggested he may have fled to Mexico.
Now, as Palo Alto Online reports, the reward is being offered and authorities are making the suspect's name public. He is Julian Rico Santana, and he's described as being 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 240 pounds, and having black hair and brown eyes.
"He's nowhere to be found for two years now, leaving families of his violence in a lot of pain and desperate for justice," says Margaret Petros, executive director of Mothers Against Murder, in a statement.
According to investigators, Santana allegedly arrived uninvited at the party two years ago and ended up getting in an altercation that led to him allegedly shooting four people, fatally wounding Sandoval and Vidales Mendez. Sandoval's mother, Veronica Sandoval, said previously that she believed alcohol was a factor in the altercation — and authorities have said they did not believe the incident was gang-related.
Veronica Sandoval posted a video to Facebook in December 2018 to plea with public for tips in finding the suspect. "Oct. 14, 2018, the last day I saw my living son," she said. "That day our lives changed forever, as a mother, every member of my family and anyone else's hearts that in some way were touched by my son."
Mothers Against Murder, an advocacy organization based in Palo Alto and founded in 2003, originally offered a $5,000 reward for information in the case back in April 2019.
Anyone who may have witnessed the shooting or has any information about the shooting is urged to contact the East Palo Alto Police Detective Aleyda Romero at 650-853-7249. Anonymous tipsters can send an anonymous email to [email protected], text 650-409-6792, or leave an anonymous voice mail at 650-409-6792.