Jonathan Lucas

Fourth Suspect Arrested in Murder of Homestead Teen

A fourth person has been arrested in connection with the death of a 17-year-old whose body was found near his home in Homestead.

Desiray Alisha Strickland, 18, now faces a first degree murder charge in the death of Jose Santos Amaya-Guardado.

Kaheem Arbelo, Christian Colon and Jonathan Lucas were arrested last week.

Family members said Amaya-Guardado's brother found his burned body partially buried in a wooded area near the Homestead Job Corps. Guardado had been dropped off at the center on June 28, and his brother found the body three days later.

An affidavit for the fourth suspect arrested in the case details the murder as violent and pre-meditated. The complaint states the four suspects confessed they conspired a plan to murder Amaya-Guardado approximately two weeks in advance.

The report goes on to say, a few days before the murder, the suspects dug a hole and grave in the woods in order to bury the victim.

According to the arrest form, the group lured Amaya-Guardado into the woods across from Job Corps, and once there, Arbelo ambushed the victim with a machete as others watched.

In a sickening twist, the affidavit says Strickland complained she had missed the first series of machete strikes because she had walked away for a few minutes to urinate.

After burying the victim in the grave and burning his belongings, the report states Strickland and another suspect stayed in the woods and had sex.

All four suspects and the victim were participants at Homestead Job Corps. Amaya-Guardado's family said Arbelo was even their son's roommate. 

Job Corps released a statement that says in part: "The safety and security of Job Corps students is our top priority. Steps already have been taken to strengthen security at the Homestead center."

The victim's parents said, so far, there's some consolation, but not justice. Justice in their eyes is the death penalty for everyone responsible for this brutal murder.

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