YAKIMA - Jesus Fabian Perales, 22, went before a judge last Wednesday in a preliminary hearing on the charge of first degree murder. The judge ordered he be held on $500,000 bail for the alleged slaying of 14-year-old Francisca Ramirez-Hernandez of Sunnyside.
On the night of Oct. 20, 2008, the young girl had been at a party in the 100 block of First Avenue in Outlook.
According to Miguel Flores, 19, a witness in the case, Ramirez-Hernandez was consuming alcohol and playing cards with Isaac Perales (16), Jesus Perales (22), Jose Lopez (17), Luis Flores (16) and himself.
According to a sheriff's report, Miguel Flores and the young girl went into his bedroom and engaged in sexual relations. He said they returned to the party and soon after the girl left the room with Isaac Perales. He said the pair went into a restroom and Flores said those at the party could hear the activity in the restroom, which sounded to him like they were having sex. Perales left the restroom approximately 10 minutes after Flores said he pounded on the restroom door.
Ramirez-Hernandez appeared to be unconscious when Flores entered the restroom and her clothing was askew, he said. He said he assisted the young girl with straightening her clothing and when he helped her to her feet she said she wanted to go home.
Flores told deputies he and the girl went back to the dining area where the younger Perales was being reprimanded for his actions by Jesus Perales. Isaac Perales left the home on foot, said Flores.
The girl was then assisted into a vehicle by Flores and Jesus Perales, the suspect in her murder. She was placed in the back seat, according to Flores, and he drove the vehicle with Perales in the passenger seat.
Flores said Ramirez-Hernandez gained consciousness and began yelling and screaming at the two men. She told them Isaac Perales had raped her and she was going to report the incident.
The suspect, according to Flores' statement to deputies, was angry and yelled at the victim. He said Perales grabbed the victim at one point, and Flores said he had to tell Perales to let her go.
Flores said the 22-year-old told him to turn the vehicle around and drive so he could think.
Flores told detectives with the sheriff's office he was later instructed Perales wanted to leave the girl in a cherry orchard. Perales allegedly told Flores she could walk to a house and call for a ride after waking from her drunken state.
In the report, Flores told the detectives he thought Perales' idea was a good idea.
He said the men found a location on the south side of the Roza Irrigation Canal east of North Outlook Road and Perales removed the young girl from the back seat of the vehicle.
He allegedly told Flores to drive slowly forward and Perales would let him know when to stop.
A short while later, Flores told deputies, Perales knocked on the passenger front window, Flores stopped and Perales got into the vehicle.
Flores said he inquired as to Ramirez-Hernandez's well being and was told she was "good."
Flores said the following morning Perales visited his residence, instructing Flores to sell his vehicle. When asked why he should sell his vehicle, the suspect allegedly told Flores he had murdered Ramirez-Hernandez and evidence could be in the car.
The 22-year-old Perales, said Flores, also allegedly threatened him to keep him from sharing the details of the evening with authorities.
Ramirez-Hernandez's body was discovered in the Yakima River near Prosser a little over three months after her murder.
An autopsy revealed the cause of death to be a cut from a knife to the throat, which severed both carotid arteries, resulting in her bleeding to death. She was identified through dental records.
The older Perales fled the state and was believed to be staying with relatives in California. Approximately two weeks ago the Violent Crimes Task Force received information he had returned to Outlook and he was subsequently arrested last Tuesday.