Jose Rivera-Aguirre arrested in killing of Luis Salas Ramos; body found on Thun Trail

2 other suspects being sought in kidnapping, homicide, police say

Posted: 12:17 PM EDT Oct 19, 2012   Updated: 5:55 PM EDT Oct 19, 2012
Jose Rivera-Aguirre and Luis Salas-Ramos

One of three suspects has been arrested in the shooting of a man found dead on the Thun Trail in Berks County last month.

Jose Rivera-Aguirre was apprehended early Friday morning; two other suspects -- Miguel Rosario-Ramos and Victor Borges-Rivera -- are still being sought, authorities said.

All three men, officials said, face a long list of charges in connection with the killing of Luis Salas-Ramos, whose body was found early on the morning of Sept. 23 by a bicyclist riding the trail in Cumru Township.

Investigators learned from witnesses that the three men beat Salas-Ramos until he was unconscious on the ground in the 200 block of Wood Street in Reading shortly after 2 a.m. on Sept. 23, according to court documents.

Rivera-Aguirre, the suspect arrested Friday, then pulled out a gun and pointed it at Salas-Ramos, but someone yelled, "Don't shoot him here!" according a witness statement cited in court documents.

The three suspects -- Rivera-Aguirre, Rosario Ramos and Borges-Rivera -- then picked up Salas-Ramos and put him in the back of a Jeep Cherokee, according to court documents.

"We do believe he was kidnapped and taken to Cumru Township, where he was murdered," said Berks County District Attorney John Adams.

Around 2:30 a.m., a person who lives near the stretch of the trail in Cumru Township where Salas-Ramos was later found dead reported hearing approximately three gunshots, according to court documents. His body was found a little more than four hours later. The Jeep was also recovered.

Rivera-Aguirre, 29, of Reading, was arraigned on charges of first, second and third degree murder; aggravated assault, kidnapping to inflict injury, unlawful restraint/serious bodily injury; kidnapping for ransom; multiple conspiracy counts and various weapons violations.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Rosario-Ramos or Borges-Rivera is asked to call Crime Alert Berks County at 877-373-9913. The crime stoppers group is offering a cash reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads to an arrest. Callers can remain anonymous.

"We need the public's help to locate these two individuals," Adams said.