A Jurupa Valley man accused of killing a 40-year-old acquaintance and setting his remains ablaze was arrested in Arizona, where he’s awaiting extradition to Riverside County.
August Nielsen III, 37, is charged with first-degree murder for the May slaying of Michael Daniel Reynoso in Jurupa Valley.
According to Riverside County Sheriff’s Sgt. Wally Clear, after a nationwide manhunt, Nielsen was confirmed to be hiding out in Phoenix, and on Oct. 4 authorities there served an arrest warrant at his residence, where he was taken into custody without a struggle.
Nielsen is being held in lieu of $1 million in the Maricopa County Jail. Clear said his extradition is pending.
Nielsen’s co-defendant, 23-year-old Adrian Daniel Chaffino, is charged with being an accessory to murder and is free on a $5,000 bond.
According to Clear, on the morning of May 8, a travel trailer was set aflame near the intersection of Clay Street and Van Buren Boulevard. Firefighters quickly doused the blaze and discovered Reynoso’s charred remains inside.
Confirming the victim’s identity took several months, but after detectives learned Reynoso was the person killed, they turned their attention to Nielsen, the sergeant said, without specifying why or disclosing a possible motive.
According to court papers, the victim was fatally shot.
A criminal complaint was filed against both defendants in August. Chaffino was arrested without incident at his residence on Rorimer Drive in Jurupa Valley. Nielsen could not be found, sheriff’s officials said.
The defendant has a prior misdemeanor conviction for making criminal threats, according to court records.