Mammoth families seek answers in double murder case

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Joe Reynoso speaks about the deaths of his son, Mark Reynoso, and Maria De Santiago.

  There is probably nothing worse than having your child or grandchild die before your time has passed, unless it is losing your loved ones to a senseless, violent act.

  The DeSantiago and Reynoso families of Mammoth have experienced the tragedy of losing a loved one to a vicious, cowardly murder. The double murder of Mark Reynoso and Maria DeSantiago on Jan. 31, 2017 has left both families dealing with the horror and grief of this tragedy. The people of Mammoth are also living in fear with the knowledge that a killer or killers may be on the loose in their community.

Maria De Santiago and Mark Reynoso

  On Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, one day before the first anniversary of the double murder, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference to bring attention to the unsolved case and make a plea to the public for information leading to the capture and conviction of those involved in the murders. Members of the Reynoso and DeSantiago family were present. Joe Reynoso, Marks’s father and Marcela DeSantiago, Maria’s sister spoke lovingly about their loved ones and the grief they are dealing with.

  Joe spoke about how he missed Mark and Maria. Maria worked with him every day at the restaurant and Mark was his helper.

  “There’s nothing he couldn’t fix out there,” he said.

  Mark’s mother Laney reiterated this, in a later interview with the San Manuel Miner, while crying, to remind everyone that “Mark was a Jack of All Trades and a master of all of them.”

  Joe talked about the difficulty of his life since finding the bodies of both Mark and Maria. He is reminded every day of the tragedy as he drives by the crime scene every morning on his way to work. He said he makes the sign of the cross twice as he passes. He still dreams of them working together.

Marcela De Santiago speaks about the death of her sister Maria.

  Marcela DeSantiago described her sister as a good mother and hardworking woman. Both Marcela and Joe reminded everyone that Maria and Mark had children left behind that are now being taken care of by family members. They both pleaded for information to bring the killer to justice.

  “We’re not going to give up. We don’t give up,” Joe said.

  The detective handling the case is Joe Bonucci. He said that they need the help of the public to solve this case. There is speculation that the murder may have been related to a car accident that Mark was involved in where three people lost their lives which happened nearly two years to the day in 2015. Mark was facing manslaughter charges at the time of the murders.

Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb, flanked by members of the Reynoso and De Santiago families, speaks about the double homicide that occurred in Mammoth one year ago.

  Detectives looked at robbery as a possible motive but if it was, the robbery was not carried out. There was no forced entry of the apartment and physical evidence at the scene leads them to believe the shooter never entered the apartment.

  It appears the motive may be more “personal,” according to the detective. There is a good chance that Mark and Maria knew their killer.

  Lab reports show that one weapon was used in both shootings. A vehicle believed to be a 2000 – 2001 dark gray Ford Ranger was reported in the area during the time of the shootings.

  “We can’t bring those lives back, but we can bring some closure to the family,” Pinal County Sheriff, Mark Lamb said. “We know we can solve this case but we need the help of the community to do so.”

  A $5,000 reward is being offered to anyone with information leading to an arrest. Anyone with any information please call PCSO at (520) 866-5105 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS (480-948-6377), for Spanish speaking 480-TESTIGO, or 1-800-343-TIPS. You can remain anonymous.

John Hernandez (713 Posts)

John Hernandez lives in Oracle. He is retired and enjoys writing and traveling. He is active in the Oracle Historical Society. He covers numerous public events, researches historical features and writes business/artist profiles.


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