Two men arrested, charged in case of burned body found near Minneapolis dumpster fire

  • Article by: MATT MCKINNEY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 20, 2014 - 11:45 PM

Two men were charged Wednesday in the brutal death of a 31-year-old man whose scorched body was found Aug. 7 near a burning dumpster in south Minneapolis.

Charges filed by the Hennepin County attorney’s office said Manuel Guzman, 24, of Minneapolis, and Guillermo Ayala-Enriquez, 22, of Brooklyn Center shot Rufina Alejandra Clara-Rendon in the head after accusing him of being a snitch. They face second-degree-murder charges.

A Minneapolis police investigation found that Clara-Rendon was at a barbecue Aug. 7 with Guzman, Ayala-Enriquez and a fourth person after which they drove to Guzman’s south Minneapolis house.

According to the charges: A witness told investigators that Guzman and Ayala-Enriquez had recently robbed a drug dealer. The witness said that once they arrived at Guzman’s house, Guzman and Ayala-Enriquez accused Clara-Rendon of telling the dealer that they were the robbers. They took Clara-Rendon into a main-level bathroom and the witness heard one “bang.” Clara-Rendon had been shot in the head and was dead.

Guzman and Ayala-Enriquez allegedly rolled the body into a carpet, then cut open a mattress and stuffed him inside. The men loaded the mattress into Ayala-Enriquez’s car, drove to a SuperAmerica gas station and bought gas that they used to douse the mattress.

The witness said the men tried to put Clara-Rendon’s body in a dumpster on 39th Street between Snelling and Minnehaha Avenues S., but he was too heavy. They left it near the dumpster and set it on fire, the witness said.

A person who was standing outside smoking a cigarette at the time reported hearing a loud “whoosh” and seeing the glow of flames coming from the dumpster.

Firefighters were called at 11:30 p.m. They discovered the body on the asphalt and thought at first that it was a mannequin. A video surveillance system at SuperAmerica captured images of Guzman entering the store that night to buy two gas cans.

Guzman was already being held on unrelated charges. Ayala-Enriquez was arrested Tuesday by Minneapolis homicide investigators, Brooklyn Center police and the Minneapolis SWAT team.

Matt McKinney • 612-217-1747

 

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