UPDATE: BEAUMONT: Four arrested, charged with kidnapping, murder of 21-year-old

BEAUMONT – Police officials announced the arrest of four people who were allegedly involved in the March 4 murder of 21-year-old Banning resident, Jasmine Zuniga. Officers arrested the four suspects Thursday, March 23, while serving homicide-related search warrants in the cities of Banning, Beaumont, Calimesa and Yucaipa.

SEE RELATED: 21-year-old woman fatally shot while sitting inside vehicle ID’d

According to Dianna Zuniga, her daughter, Jasmine Zuniga was a caring and loving mom to her two children, ages five and two. Zuniga family photo

Zuniga was fatally shot about 10:30 p.m., while sitting inside a vehicle in the 500 block of Michigan Avenue in Banning. Despite life-saving efforts, she died at an area hospital about one hour later.

About two weeks after Zuniga’s death – just days before the warrants were served and the arrests made – Dianna Zuniga spoke about her daughter and the sense of loss and grief their family was feeling.

“We’re still in shock over the news,” Dianna explained at the time.

She was so loving and caring,” Dianna said about her daughter, who herself was a mother of two young children; including a 5-year-old daughter and a 2-year-old son. “Jasmine didn’t deserve this.”

Just four days later, Beaumont police officials served the multiple warrants related to their ongoing investigation into Zuniga’s fatal shooting.

In addition to the four arrested in connection with the homicide investigation, officials arrested four additional people during the service of the early-morning search warrants. The four were arrested for various charges not related to the murder investigation.

Beginning about 4 a.m., the Beaumont Police Department served a series of search warrants as follow up into the ongoing investigation into Zuniga’s murder.

Samuel Jesus Acosta, 32, of Banning, and Mathew Ray Zues Munoz, 25, of Beaumont were both arrested for murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and various weapons and gang enhancements.

Erika Cristell Garcia, 25, of Banning, was arrested for attempted murder and gang and weapons enhancements.

Francisca Perla Acosta, 34, of Banning was arrested for accessory to murder and a gang enhancement.

The other arrests included Abel Eddie Martinez, 68, of Beaumont for a weapons violation, two other suspects for other unrelated warrants and one subject who was arrested, but later released pending further investigation.

All those who were arrested were booked at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning. Acosta and Munoz were booked without bail.

Zuniga family photo

While speaking about the arrests Saturday night, three nights after those who were allegedly responsible for her daughter’s death had been apprehended, Dianna said she was happy and relieved at the progress Beaumont police officials had made in their investigation; however she still wants more answers.

“Right now, it only brings up more questions,” Dianna explained.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Sergeant Galletta at (951) 769-8500. Residents can also provide information anonymously at crimetips@beaumontpd.org.


Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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Trevor Montgomery runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. He also writes for several Riverside County based newspapers, including Valley News and Anza Valley Outlook and he also writes for Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including the Robert Presley Detention Center, the Southwest Station in Temecula, the Hemet Station, and the Lake Elsinore Station, along with many other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, Personnel and Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.


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