Fourth person arrested after teen ambushed, buried in woods

Desiray Strickland, 18, faces first-degree murder charge


HOMESTEAD, Fla. – A fourth person has been arrested in connection with the death of a 17-year-old boy whose body was found partially buried in a wooded area near his Homestead home.

Desiray Alisha Strickland, 18, was the latest person to be arrested in the case. She faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of Jose Santos Amaya Guardado.

Kaheem Arbelo, 20, Christian Colon, 19, and Jonathan Lucas, 19, were arrested last week by Miami-Dade police.

According to a police report, the three men admitted to plotting the murder with Strickland.

Detectives said the suspects dug a hole in the woods two weeks before they killed Guardado on June 28 and buried him.

According to the report, Arbelo used a machete to slash Guardado as the group lured him into the woods and ambushed him.

Police said Arbelo's friends watched him kill Guardado, and said Strickland complained that she missed part of the attack because she left for a few minutes to urinate in the woods.

According to the report, as the victim was dying, he was instructed to lie in the grave. Police said Guardado made a final attempt to fight off Arbelo, but was struck by the machete multiple times until his face caved in.

Police said the group then pushed Guardado's lifeless body into the grave.

The suspects got rid of the shovel and murder weapon and attempted to burn their clothes and Guardado's belongings, the report said.

Police said Strickland and Arbelo had sex in the woods until it was time for them to return to campus at the Job Corps.

Guardado's body was found by his brother on July 1.

The medical examiner determined the cause of death to be trauma and ruled the death a homicide.

A motive for the attack remains unclear.

Follow Local 10 News on Twitter@WPLGLocal10

About the Author: