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19-year-old suspect in Panorama City double murder arrested

July 30, 2012 |  9:54 am

Edwin LugoA 19-year-old man wanted in connection with a double murder in Panorama City was arrested when Los Angeles police were called to a possible car burglary, authorities said.

Officers detained Edwin Lugo about 2:40 a.m. Saturday after responding to a report of two men "lurking around a black car" near the intersection of Columbus Avenue and Parthenia Place in North Hills, LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon said.

The officers didn't see the black car, Vernon said, but noticed two men "trying to hide and looking furtive" in a different car.

The suspects were detained, Vernon said, which is when police discovered Lugo was wanted in connection with the June 2 deaths of 26-year-old Jaime Polino and 35-year-old Mario Martinez, who were found shot to death in Martinez's apartment in the 7600 block of Brimfield Avenue.

Both men died of gunshot wounds to the head, the Los Angeles County Coroner's office said.

Detectives had served three search warrants last week — at the homes of Lugo's mother, father and a female friend — and found evidence that pointed to Lugo's connection to the killings, Vernon said.

The friend, identified as 27-year-old Linda Contreras, was arrested on suspicion of intimidating a witness in a separate investigation, Vernon said. She is not believed to be connected to the Panorama City slayings.

Lugo was booked at the Van Nuys jail on suspicion of murder. His bail was set at $1 million. The other man detained with Lugo was not taken into custody.


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— Kate Mather

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Photo: Edwin Lugo Credit: Los Angeles Police Department