On the night of January 10, someone came to a house near the woods on Nevada's northwestern border and shot dead 56-year-old Connie Koontz, authorities said. Three days later, back in the shelter of darkness, someone moved to another Douglas County home about a mile away and shot Sophia Renken, 74, dead.
Three days later, Washemon County sheriff's envoys ransacked a home about 40 miles north on La Guardia Lane. There, they found 81-year-old Gerald David and his wife Sharon David (80), both with gunshot wounds; they too were dead.
For nine days, law enforcement officers from across the region gathered to fuel both reassuring and willing residents shaken by what the prosecutors would call "brutal murders" authorities said; Switch on outdoor lighting; keep your cell phones handy.
Mr. The 19- or 20-year-old Martinez-Guzman was arrested at a house Saturday afternoon for being convicted of burglary and immigration for crimes, Sheriff Ken Furlong of Carson City said, although prosecutors allegedly charged him with murder. Law enforcement officials did not discuss the motive of the killings.
According to Sheriff Furlong, immigration officers told law enforcement officials that Mr. Martinez-Guzman had been in Carson City for about a year, "but probably in the that he is under the control of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Sheriff Furlong said he could not be released on bail. The agency did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
"Four people in Nevada were viciously robbed and killed by an illegal immigrant who could not have been in our country," President Trump said Monday in a tweet. "We need a powerful wall!"
The revelation that Mr. Martinez-Guzman might be illegally residing in the United States has caught the case in a series of high-profile murders that President Trump has used to bolster his case for immigration along the wall the southwestern border of the country. The dispute over the financing of such a wall remains at the center of a government shutdown.
The president had previously killed the murder of Mollie Tibbetts, a 20-year-old college student, who was told by police, was killed by an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. (Her father called on people not to use their death for a political agenda.) Mr. Trump also said that it was "time for Border Security" after the authorities arrested a man in California in December who was loud A police officer was reported to have been fatally shot and illegally entered the United States.
In the meantime, friends and family of the four victims from Nevada – some of whom had flanked the police at the Sunday press conference – had to complain.
Eddie England, 70, who met Ms. Renken through the Carson Valley chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America, said Tuesday in an interview that four lives could have been saved if Mr. Martinez-Guzman had been expelled from the country would. He was described as an independent and tough woman who drove a Ford Model A of the 1930s. Nevertheless, a few years ago she moved to Gardnerville in Douglas County to be closer to the people – a situation she thought would be safer, England said.
"And that," he said, "is what happened to her."
"It's hard to bear."
Alan Squailia, a friend of Mr. David, described Gerald and his wife as the "salt of the earth." "If you needed a friend and needed someone who could help you, it was this couple," said Mr. Squailia, 75,
Martinez-Guzman, Mr. Squailia, said he could imagine that Mr. David was the young one Invited a man to his house if he had sought help.
"The whole city of Reno is devastated," he said. "We still can not handle it."