A Californian man was beaten to death at his own wedding reception. Joe Melgoza, 30, died of blunt force trauma to the head early Sunday morning, just hours after getting married.
A pair of brothers — who were not invited to the party — were arrested on suspicion of murder.
The gathering was hosted in the backyard of one of Melghoza’s relatives on Saturday night. According to Chino Police, officers responded to reports of a fight at a nearby home on the 13300 block of Oaks Avenue.
When they arrived, they said they encountered a large crowd from the party and two victims of battery, who had sustained minor injuries. Witnesses informed them another victim of the fight was missing; officers searched the area and arrived at the reception venue, where they found the fatally wounded Melgoza.
They attempted life-saving efforts and transported him to Chino Valley Medical Center, but he succumbed to his injuries.
On Sunday afternoon, detectives served a search warrant on a nearby home where they arrested 28-year-old Rony Aristides Castaneda Ramirez and his 19-year-old brother Josue Daniel Castaneda Ramirez.
The relationship between the suspects and the victim is unclear, KTLA reported; police are trying to establish why the brothers were at the party.
A GoFundMe has been set up for Melgoza, who leaves behind a daughter, Lilly.
“On December 14th Joe Melgoza was brutally murdered on the evening of his wedding, he was taken from us,” Alice Alvarez wrote.
“Joe was a loving son, brother, father, cousin, partner, family member and friend. He always had a way to make you smile. He was there for you at anytime to give a helping hand. He was taken from us in such a tragic and horrific way.”
“He leaves behind his daughter Lilly who will be in good hands with Joe’s family,” she wrote, appealing for donations to help the girl as well as funeral costs.
“Isela, Joe’s mom is devastated, heartbroken and is having a hard time processing it all,” she added. “The two criminals that did this horrible act have been arrested and are in custody. Justice will be served!!!”
The Castaneda Ramirez brothers are being held without bail, and are scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.