Ezequiel B. Almodovar mug shot

Ezequiel B. Almodovar, 36, was charged July 29 with two counts of homicide regarding the deaths of two men found in the burned vehicle.

When Jonathan Rivera and Eugenio Morales-Torres stopped responding to text messages and answering phone calls Monday night, their loved ones began to worry.

According to an account given in a criminal complaint released Thursday, the two men had gone to visit their friend “Zeke” Monday evening and hadn’t returned home.

Less than two days after the men were last seen alive, Ezequiel “Zeke” Almodovar, 36, of Upper Leacock Township, was charged with the murder of Rivera, 29, and Morales-Torres, 33.

The Lancaster County Coroner’s Office confirmed the identities of the bodies Thursday evening.

Police believe Almodovar shot the two men, and then the bodies were loaded into Torres-Morales’ pickup truck, driven to a farm lane in Manor Township where the truck was set on fire, according to a criminal complaint.

Almodovar remains wanted, and is considered to be armed and dangerous, the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office said.

As of Thursday morning, the district attorney’s office had no new updates.

Monday evening

After Rivera’s significant other hadn’t heard from him for several hours Monday night, she drove to Almodovar’s house, which is located in the 1500 block of Hunsecker Road.

There, she saw Morales-Torres’ black pickup truck in the driveway, according to the criminal complaint.

She also spotted Almodovar leaning down near the front tire on the driver’s side of the vehicle. He was wearing a white tank-top with blood stains on either side of his stomach, she told police. An unidentified person, dressed in black, was standing on a hill by the house, the complaint said.

When the woman got out of her car, Almodovar told her he hadn’t seen Rivera and yelled at her to leave. The woman told police that the unidentified man in black appeared behind the truck.

She then left Almodovar’s residence, the complaint said, but returned a few hours later. Morales-Torres’ vehicle was no longer in the driveway, she told police.

Morales-Torres’ girlfriend called East Lampeter Township police Monday night at 11:50 p.m and told them that the men were missing and Almodovar was spotted wearing a bloody shirt. By 12:04 a.m., an officer was at Almodovar’s house.

A woman at the house told the officer that Almodovar was not home and that he had gone to visit his cousin in York. She didn’t recognize the names of Morales-Torres or Rivera, police said.

Tuesday

The next morning, Rivera’s significant other returned with another woman and found a bullet casing where Almodovar had been seen kneeling the night before, police said.

Less than an hour later, police arrived at Almodovar’s residence and found “what appeared to be” two pooled bloodstains on the driveway of Almodovar’s residence, along with fired cartridge cases, the criminal complaint said.

Several neighbors told police they heard what they thought to be gunshots or fireworks between 7 and 9 p.m.

Earlier Tuesday morning, Manor Township police officers responded to a report of a vehicle fire. When they arrived at the vehicle on Charlestown Road, they found charred human remains in the bed of the pickup truck, the complaint said.

A Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal determined that the fire was intentionally set.

A search of Almodovar’s residence on Tuesday yielded two fired cartridge cases, stains of what is believed to be blood inside the garage, a bloody blanket in the living room and a towel with blood stains in the bathroom, the complaint said.

Almodovar is charged with two counts of homicide, arson, tampering with evidence and two counts of abuse of a corpse.

Police believe Almodovar to be armed and dangerous, and ask that anyone with information call East Lampeter Township police at 717-291-4676.

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