RIVERSIDE (CNS) – A sexual assault suspect who fled Riverside after trying to kidnap a girl was arrested in Guatemala for similar offenses — and died in his jail cell under undisclosed circumstances, authorities said today.
Henry “Oscar'” Mazariegos Gonzalez, 29, was being held on suspicion of sexual assault and kidnapping in Escuintla, Guatemala, when he was discovered dead Tuesday, according to Riverside Police Department Officer Ryan Railsback.
“It’s unfortunate this suspect was able to victimize other children before he was brought to justice,” Riverside Police Department Chief Larry Gonzalez said. “But we are glad he will never be able to again.”
Railsback said Gonzalez was charged in connection with the sexual assault of two Guatemalan girls, ages 5 and 12, as well as kidnapping a 9-year-old boy, earlier this month.
In Riverside County, Gonzalez was charged with kidnapping and attempted murder for an alleged attack that occurred on Aug. 6, 2019.
Railsback alleged that about 8 a.m. that day, a teenage girl was walking in the 6200 block of Rutland Avenue when Gonzalez emerged from a Toyota Tundra pickup truck and ran up behind her, striking her with a hammer and attempting to drag her into the vehicle.
“She was able to fight off the suspect and run away,” Railsback said.
Thanks to witnesses, the pickup truck was located less than a day later, and detectives discovered that Gonzalez had borrowed it from a friend, according to Railsback.
The investigation ultimately confirmed that Gonzalez had fled south of the border, and detectives focused on Guatemala, Railsback said.
An extradition request was submitted to Guatemalan authorities after Gonzalez was arrested, but the process had only just begun when he died for unspecified reasons.