The man Mexican authorities arrested Friday in connection with the homicide of Jose Arredondo was a longtime friend of the local businessman and philanthropist who was killed at his home in Baja California, an attorney working for Arredondo's family said Tuesday.
"They were friends for quite some time," Bakersfield lawyer David Torres said in a phone interview. "From time to time they were golfing buddies as well."
Mexican authorities say the suspect, Roberto Guadalupe Gonzalez Martinez (some reports spell his last name Martines), was accompanied by "other people" when he arrived at Arredondo's house and repeatedly hit him, causing injuries that led to Arredondo's death.
Torres, saying he wanted to preserve the integrity of the homicide investigation, declined to address a question about Mexican authorities' assertion that others were present at Arredondo's home on the day of his death.
Mexican news media have reported Martinez went missing July 20, and soon after that, his daughter said the family had been contacted by kidnappers demanding $50,000.
But the news service BCS Noticias said Martinez was arrested Saturday and that it was believed he had orchestrated the alleged kidnapping.
Martinez's daughter, Canadian resident Isabella Gonzalez, was quoted by BCS Noticias as saying her father has been falsely accused.
"The Mexican news media accuse my father of 'faking his kidnapping to extort from his own family' and they present the 'assassin' as his best friend," she said, according to BCS Noticias. "I am publishing this begging you, if you see any negative comment that carries this connotation, please try to remove it … and don't be influenced by these false reports."
Martinez was arrested Saturday and, following judicial proceedings Sunday, held in custody.
Arredondo, who was 60 at the time of his death, reportedly died from blunt force trauma. People close to him have said he also suffered stab wounds.