“34-Year-Old Suspect Pleads Not Guilty in July 2020 Killing of Luis Pinedo Found in Burned Vehicle”

By | July 18, 2023



In the case of a 34-year-old man suspected in a July 2020 killing, Ruben Corria Esquivel Jr. of Coachella has pleaded not guilty to felony charges. Esquivel is accused of murdering a man whose body was found inside a burned vehicle in Thermal. The charges against him include murder, arson, possessing ammunition, and being a convicted felon and narcotic addict in possession of a firearm.

The incident occurred on July 18, 2020, when deputies responded to a vehicle fire on Pierce Street near Airport Boulevard. After extinguishing the fire, the body of Luis Pinedo, 34, of Mecca, was discovered inside the charred vehicle. The sheriff’s department initially deemed Pinedo’s death suspicious, but it was later upgraded to a homicide investigation after evidence of “homicidal violence” was found during the autopsy.

Arson investigators determined that the fire was deliberately set, as there was a discernible fire pattern from a poured liquid on the asphalt leading to the vehicle. Pinedo had sustained a single gunshot wound to the left side of his head before being burned.

Esquivel was identified as the suspect in Pinedo’s murder through interviews, phone analysis, call records, and social media records. He was allegedly found with severe burns on his chest, face, and arm the morning after the murder, as he had been at the same ranch where Pinedo was visiting family.

It is important to note that Esquivel is currently awaiting trial for a separate murder case in which he is accused of shooting a 42-year-old man in Indio on February 21, 2020. He has documented felony convictions in Riverside County, including attempted carjacking and parole violations.

If anyone has additional information about the case, they are urged to contact Sheriff’s Central Homicide Investigator Mendoza. Esquivel remains held at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside on $1 million bail..