Redlands Police press releases

Please use this revised press release indicating the suspects were
arrested Tuesday, June 14.

I apologize for the error and any inconvenience as a result.

Carl

 

Carl Baker

Public Information Officer

City of Redlands

35 Cajon St., Suite
204

Redlands, CA
92373

(909) 798-7633 (office)

(909) 557-6710 (cell)

cbaker@cityofredlands.org

CITY OF REDLANDS

POLICE
DEPARTMENT

Chief James R. Bueermann

30 Cajon Street

P.O. Box 1025 – Redlands,
CA 92373


(909) 798-7681

NEWS RELEASE

 

June
15,
2011
Contact: Carl Baker

Phone: 909.798.7633

FAX: 909.798.7503

Email: cbaker@redlandspolice.org

 

For
immediate release:

 

Suspects
arrested in 2010 murder of man found burning

 

Two
suspects were arrested for murder Tuesday in connection with the death of a
49-year-old Fontana man whose burning body was
discovered last year on a freeway frontage road in Redlands.

 

Keith
Julian Costella and Michelle Rebecca Luevano, both 21, were taken into custody
Tuesday night, June 14, after a search warrant was served at their home in the
2200 block of Cahuilla Street
in Colton.

 

The
burning body of Craig Kenneth Kubitz was found at about 11:30 p.m. Feb. 23,
2010, in a field off of Reservoir
Road, near Wabash
and Interstate 10. Redlands
firefighters responded to a report of a vegetation fire. As firefighters doused
the blaze they discovered the burning remains.

 

Kubitz’s
remains were identified on Dec. 9 through DNA and fingerprints. Investigators
spent months checking missing persons reports, matching dental records, and
circulating photos of a distinctive belt buckle the victim was wearing.

 

Kubitz
was last reported seen Feb. 18, 2010, in Fontana.
His 1992 Volkswagen Jetta was found abandoned on Highway 18 near Crestline on
Feb. 25.

 

Investigators
from the Redlands Police Department Cold Case Unit took over the investigation
this year.

 

Investigators
say Kubitz, who worked with Costella doing odd handyman jobs, went on Feb. 18
to the Highland
home in the 7800 block of Tippecanoe
Street where Costella and Luevano lived at the
time, to collect $700 Costella owed him. Costella shot Kubitz there. He and
Luevano kept the body for another five days before wrapping it in a tarp,
loading it into Luevano’s pickup truck and driving to Redlands. There they dumped the body, doused
it in gasoline and set it on fire. The next day, Costella and Luevano abandoned
the victim’s car on Highway 18 where it was later located.

 

Both
suspects have been charged with murder and were transported to Central Detention
Center in San Bernardino.

 

On
Thursday, Police Chief Jim Bueermann praised the work of the RPD Cold Case Unit
in solving the murder.

 

“The
clearance of this murder represents an outstanding piece of dedicated and
persistent police work,” Bueermann said. “I am extremely proud of all of the
members of the RPD who were involved in this very extensive investigation. The
arrest of these individuals will bring closure for the family of Craig Kubitz
and will, hopefully, assist them in re-building their lives after this tragic
crime.

 

“I
believe this case also proves the efficacy of the RPD’s Cold Case Unit. It has
long been my position that we owe victims of murder and their loved ones the
justice they deserve, but are frequently denied, as a result of investigative
problems and challenges that prolong investigations long past our desired
timeframe. Providing investigators the time and resources they need to solve
difficult cases such as this one – in which the victim, suspects nor the crime
itself, have any real connection to Redlands – is the most effective manner to
solve cases that have gone ‘cold.’ I have every confidence that the RPD
professionals will continue to solve the toughest of cases as long as they are
provided the support they need to keep Redlands
safe and hold offenders accountable.”

 

Anyone
with additional information is asked to contact Sgt. Mark Hardy or Sgt. Steve
Crane at (909) 798-7659 or Redlands Police Dispatch
at (909) 798-7681. Anonymous tips can be provided by texting 274637 using the
keyword “REDTIP.”

 

Redlands Police press releases and other
information are available on the Redlands Police Department Facebook page at www.facebook.com/redlandspolice
or on the Department website at www.redlandspolice.org

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