HONOLULU — Two men were arrested in Los Angeles on Wednesday in connection with the killing of an elderly Hawaiian man found encased in concrete in his own bathtub.
Juan Tejedor Baron, 23, and Scott Hannon, 34, were captured by U.S. Marshals Wednesday afternoon. Both were sought on charges of second-degree murder.
Hannon was located at an intersection in Inglewood, according to Honolulu police officials. Baron, who was headed to Mexico on a Greyhound bus, was a little more challenging to find.
“Baron was found hiding in a crawl space under an enclosed bench at the rear of the bus,” authorities said in a news release. “Baron had pulled back a metal plate near the bus’s rear bathroom and crawled under the enclosed bench seat.”
Both men were visitors to Hawaii. Authorities said Baron is from Texas, while Hannon’s home address is in Massachusetts.
Honolulu patrol officers were dispatched Monday morning to the Lelekepue Place home of Gary Ruby, 73, for a welfare check. Ruby’s home is located in the upscale private Oahu neighborhood of Hawaii Loa Ridge.
Though the victim had not been positively identified as of Wednesday, authorities believed it was Ruby, who property records confirm owns the home.
Ruby’s brother, who requested the welfare check, had not seen or spoken with Ruby since the beginning of February, Honolulu police Lt. Deena Thoemmes said. The brother thought Ruby might have traveled to California.
The officers initially found no one home and the home appeared secure.
“Based on the initial investigation, a missing person case was initiated,” Thoemmes told reporters.
Later on Monday, detectives returned to the house and encountered Baron, who said he was in a romantic relationship with the much-older Ruby and lived there with him. The detectives got consent at that time to search the home.
“The victim was still not located. Upon searching the home, a stand-alone tub was observed to be filled with a concrete-type mixture,” the lieutenant said.
On top of the concrete was a layer of coffee grounds, Thoemmes told reporters. Coffee grounds are sometimes used to mask or absorb unwanted odors.
Baron eventually left the home with a second man, identified as Hannon. Hawaii News Now reported that both men were questioned but police did not have probable cause to detain them.
“The initial case was a missing person investigation. It was not a criminal case,” Thoemmes later confirmed.
Officers gave the men a ride to a hotel in Waikiki, the news station reported.
See the footage from the hotel below.
Meanwhile, missing person investigators passed the case to homicide detectives, who continued searching Ruby’s house. On Tuesday afternoon, they got a closer look at the concrete-filled bathtub.
There, they made a gruesome discovery.
“The body was in the stand-alone tub, and it was in a state of decomposition,” the lieutenant told reporters.
The condition of the remains was determined once they began removing concrete.
“The smell of the decomposition was (released) when we started to chip away at the tub,” she said.
Listen to Lt. Deena Thoemmes discuss the case below, courtesy of Hawaii News Now.
The scent of the coffee grounds was soon overtaken by the odor of decomposition. Authorities at that time did not know how Ruby was slain or how long his body had been in the tub.
As Thoemmes answered questions near the scene, crime scene investigators continued to chip away at the concrete in the effort to remove Ruby’s body. One reporter observed that they could hear the sounds of picks and shovels coming from inside the home.
Another reporter pointed out that the odor of decomposition could be detected on the breeze through the neighborhood.
Neighbors were shocked by the brutal crime.
“I think it’s just absolutely terrible that it happened,” Hawaii Loa Ridge resident Sydney Holst told Hawaii News Now. “I mean, we’ve never had a serious crime like this happen before. We’ve heard of small robberies but never something of this degree.”
Baron and Hannon were being held at the Los Angeles County Jail on Thursday awaiting extradition.
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