CHEYENNE — A local man was arrested Saturday and charged with first-degree murder in connection with the killing of a 19-year-old man found last week in a reservoir east of town.
Armando Raul Ramirez-Serna, 21, was arrested at about 5 p.m. Saturday at the First Interstate Inn off Interstate 80 and Highway 71 in Kimball, Nebraska, according to a news release from Laramie County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Capt. Linda Gesell.
He was also formally charged by the Laramie County District Attorney’s Office with first-degree murder and first-degree arson in connection with the death of Justin Robinson and the burning of his mother’s Lincoln SUV, Gesell said.
Deputies attempted to interview Ramirez-Serna in Nebraska, but he requested a lawyer and declined to speak, Gesell said.
Ramirez-Serna was arrested following tips from the public and the help of the Kimball County Sheriff’s Office, Kimball Police Department and Nebraska State Patrol.
It is unclear when Ramirez-Serna will be extradited back to Wyoming. He must appear before a judge in Nebraska before that can happen. Even then, another warrant from an executive like the governor might be necessary to move him across state lines, Gesell said.
Ramirez-Serna is the fourth person to be arrested in connection with Robinson’s death.
Authorities also arrested Ramirez-Serna’s girlfriend, Rachel Rodriguez, who was in the hotel room with him, according to a deputy from the Kimball County Sheriff’s Office. No other information about her was made available by press time Saturday night.
Austin Aranda also was arrested Saturday at about 2 a.m. in the 500 block of Patton Avenue in southwest Cheyenne on suspicion of accessory after the fact to first-degree murder.
Sheriff’s deputies used a device owned by the U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to pinpoint a cellphone Friday that was presumed to belong to Ramirez-Serna, Gesell said. The device led them to Aranda, who is suspected of driving Ramirez-Serna to Glenrock and giving him a different cellphone.
An unidentified 17-year-old and 21-year-old Erick Aguilar have also been arrested in the past three days on suspicion of accessory to murder after the fact.
The 17-year-old, whose name can’t be released by the department because he is a juvenile, is also suspected of accessory to arson before the fact.
All of these arrests come after an investigation by the Laramie County Sheriff’s Department into the death of Robinson, who was found last Sunday floating in a reservoir off of Burlington Trail Road with a single gunshot wound through his head. A burned SUV suspected to belong to his mother was found nearby.
Deputies are working to connect Robinson’s death with an early morning shooting last Sunday in the 7600 block of Braehill Road.
Deputies responded to the area after midnight and found a stolen Smith and Wesson handgun and blood on the road near the scene.
Fingerprint and DNA test results of that evidence is still pending.
Gesell said detectives believed Ramirez-Serna and Robinson were acquaintances and may have been together last weekend. They also believe there was foul play related to narcotic