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A fourth person has been charged in connection to the fatal beating of a man whose body was then left in a farm culvert in Dakota County in March 2021. 

Edgar Martinez-Montez, 36, is charged with intentional second-degree murder and unintentional second-degree murder in connection with Manuel Mandujano's March 29, 2021, death. 

Three others have already been charged in connection to the case: 

  • Arturo Morales-Ceras, 34, of Minneapolis, is charged with two counts of second-degree murder.
  • Tomasa Martinez, 30, of Minneapolis, is charged with kidnapping
  •  Ivan Contreras-Sanchez, 40, of Minneapolis, is charged with intentional second-degree murder and unintentional second-degree murder

Warning: Details in this case are upsetting.

The four people who are charged allegedly kidnapped Mandujano from a homeless camp and brought him back to a Minneapolis home, where they beat and interrogated him for being a "snitch," court documents say. They then wrapped him up in plastic and dumped his body in a farm culvert in Dakota County, where it was found about three weeks later. 

Related [Nov. 9]: Minneapolis couple charged in beating death of man they dumped in farm culvert

Related [Nov. 5]: Charges: Man taunted wounded victim on camera before 'savage' murder

Related [April 29]: Minneapolis man's body found in Dakota County culvert

The charges

According to the criminal complaints, Mandujano's family reported him missing to the Minneapolis Police Department on April 4, saying he was last seen on March 27.

They said they'd been told by people at a homeless camp he'd gotten into a fight with another man and was hit over the head with a shovel, killing him, charges state.

 About three weeks later, on April 26, Mandujano's body was found in a farming culvert in Dakota County. His hands were bound behind his back and a nail was in the back heel of one of his feet, the complaint says.

The medical examiner determined Mandujano died of blunt force trauma and his death was a homicide. He had trauma to his face, fractured ribs, a fractured hand, and a nail in his heel that went to the bone, charges said.

After Contreras-Sanchez was arrested, police obtained three videos that showed the people who were present when Mandujano was beaten, including Martinez-Montez. Contreras-Martinez also identified Martinez-Montez as being at the house at 425 36th St. in Minneapolis the day of the beating, charges state. 

After the beating, which lasted about 2-3 hours, the suspects put the victim in plastic and into the back of a car, with Morales-Ceras, Martinez and Contreras-Sanchez driving the victim around looking for a place to dispose of his body after he died, the complaint said.

The trio then met up with two other people who were in a Honda CRV. Surveillance video from a gas station shows Martinez-Montez go inside with another person, where one of them bought a beverage that was later found near the victim's body in the culvert, charges state. 

Investigators interviewed Martinez-Montez, who eventually admitted he was involved in the assault. He also said when the four of them arrived at the farm culvert, he pushed the victim's body from the car and saw two other men pull his body down a ditch toward the culvert, the complaint says. 

Martinez-Montez, who doesn't have a permanent address, was set to make his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon. 

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