The man arrested on Friday on suspicion of killing two women in Moreno Valley was the father of 7-year-old twin boys, and the killings happened during a custody swap involving the boys’ mother and grandmother, the sheriff’s office said. Riverside County Department on Monday. Nov 21
Salvador Velasquez Jr., 39, was arrested at his Coachella home and charged with suspected double murder. He is being held without bail at the John J. Benoit Detention Center in Indio. The boys were found safely at home, the sheriff’s department said.
The victims were Esmeralda Casillas, 36, and her mother Ofelia Velazquez de Casillas, 68, both from El Cajon, family members and the Coroner’s Office said Monday.
Adrian Olascoaga, 30, who self-identified as Esmeralda Casillas’ nephew and the older woman’s grandson, said in an interview Monday that Velasquez and Casillas dated for about three years before splitting. Casillas is trying to get full custody of the children, he said.
They shared joint custody of the children, with Velasquez getting the boys over the weekend, according to Olascoaga.
“He was very possessive, he was very jealous, very, very controlling. He was never nice to talk to, but as far as actual threats go…I know threats have been made, but I don’t know since when,” Olascoaga said. “We never thought she was in any danger because we thought the kids were important to him.”
He said it would have been normal for Casillas and her mother to have been together during the custody swap so Casillas wouldn’t have to drive home alone.
The sheriff’s department said Velasquez went to the meeting point in the Moreno Valley area of Eucalyptus Avenue and Old Highway 215, met the boys, and shot the two women. They died in a hospital, a sheriff’s press release said.
“She was a good mom,” Olascoaga said of her aunt, who ran a tire shop. “She was a business owner trying to do her best to take care of her.”
Velasquez was convicted of reckless driving in 2020, said Amy McKenzie, a spokeswoman for prosecutors. Charges such as carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle and carrying a loaded firearm in a public place, both offenses, were dismissed, Supreme Court records show.
Anyone experiencing or threatened with domestic violence can get help by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.