2nd suspect in Ruskin burned body case arrested, Hillsborough deputies say

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The U.S. Marshals Service has arrested a second suspect in the April slaying of a man whose body was set on fire in a Ruskin field, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Carlos Almaraz-Barbosa, 26, was taken into custody in Houston, Texas, in connection to the death of 44-year-old Efrain Ibarra-Barcenas, the Sheriff’s Office said in a Thursday news release.

Another suspect, 20-year-old Christian Segura-Alvarez, was arrested by Hillsborough deputies April 21.

According to previous reporting by the Tampa Bay Times, Ibarra-Barcenas had been stabbed in the back with a knife that was still in his body when he was found. He also had a belt around his ankles and what appeared to be tape on his right arm, records said.

Ibarra-Barcenas’ wife, Mercedes Ibarra, told investigators he had gone to a home in the 1200 block of 10th Avenue Southeast with some men he’d worked with that day to have drinks. The home was about a mile north of where his body was found.

Two of the men drinking with Ibarra-Barcenas the night of April 14 were Segura-Alvarez and Almaraz-Barbosa. According to court documents filed in the case, they told detectives Ibarra-Barcenas left alone around 9 p.m. after saying he wanted to go to a bar or nightclub.

Authorities pinged Ibarra-Barcenas’ phone and learned it was in the Gainesville area, near the Newberry Road exit off Interstate 75. His phone was found in that area the following day.

Detectives located surveillance video of Ibarra-Barcenas’ 2014 white Chevy Silverado at the Fort Lonesome Grocery on State Road 674 and Rebel convenience store on U.S. 301 in Riverview during the early morning hours of April 15.

In the first video, two men who officials said did not appear to be Ibarra-Barcenas were seen. The Sheriff’s Office released a still from the second video on April 17, calling the man pictured a person of interest in the case.

While searching the home on 10th Avenue, Segura-Alvarez arrived. According to his arrest affidavit and search warrant affidavits, investigators showed him the video of the man at the Rebel store and he became “visibly upset.”

Segura-Alvarez told detectives he saw Almaraz-Barbosa kill Ibarra-Barcenas, then he helped Almaraz-Barbosa put the body into his truck and drive it to the Ruskin field. He said Almaraz-Barbosa then lit Ibarra-Barcenas’ body on fire.

Segura-Alvarez was being held in a Hillsborough County jail on charges of second-degree murder with a firearm and evidence tampering. His bail is set at $600,000.

Almaraz-Barbosa was awaiting extradition to Hillsborough County to face charges of second-degree murder, abuse of a dead human body, grand theft of a motor vehicle and tampering with evidence, according to the release.