Two people are charged with fatally shooting a man whose body was found next to a burning dumpster earlier this month – the remains so charred it made identifying the victim difficult.
Manuel Guzman (24, of Minneapolis) and Guillermo Ayala-Enriquez (22, of Brooklyn Center) are both charged with second-degree murder in the death of 31-year-old Rufino Clara-Rendon, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office announced Wednesday.
According to the criminal complaint:
The three men attended a barbecue together on Aug. 7.
At one point, the trio drove in the same car to Guzman's home in south Minneapolis, where he and Ayala-Enriquez accused Clara-Rendon of being a snitch. A witness told authorities the two had recently robbed a drug dealer, and thought Clara-Rendon told the robbery victim they were the culprit.
The two men took Clara-Rendon to a bathroom and shot him once in the head.
The pair rolled Clara-Rendon's body in a carpet, then cut open a mattress and shoved him inside. They loaded that mattress into Ayala-Enriquez's car, and drove to a gas station where they purchased a can of gas. The two took the body to a dumpster, laid it beside, doused the body with gasoline and lit it on fire.
If found guilty, Guzman and Ayala-Enriquez could each face up to 40 years in prison.
Clara-Rendon's body was discovered next to the scene of a dumpster fire around 11:30 p.m. the night of the barbecue, the body was burned so badly investigators initially weren’t certain whether it was a man or woman. The Star Tribune reported responders actually thought it was a mannequin at first.
A week later, police released a photo of a tattoo they hoped someone would recognize, in an effort to identify the victim.
He was identified as Clara-Rendon shortly after.