Police are searching for the body of missing truck driver Oscar Javier Contreras Escobar in the backyard of an Ontario residence.
29-year-old Escobar, reported missing since September 4, might have been killed and buried behind the house, KTLA indicates. Cadaver dogs have been brought in as the Ontario search carries on.
ABC affiliate KABC-TV cites sources in law enforcement, who specify that evidence has been found on site, without mentioning the nature of the items.
“Our focus right now is to thoroughly search the area inside the house and the backyard area and ensure that any items of evidentiary value are located,” Ontario police Sgt. David McBride tells reporters.
The residence located on South Palm Avenue has been on the police radar for years, according to neighbors' accounts.
“It’s been raided about five times in 10 years. It was raided a few months ago. [...] Activity left and right… day and night. [...] This doesn’t surprise anybody that something has happened here,” describes a man living on the same block.
Escobar was last seen on August 28, when he was dropped off at the intersection of Foothill Boulevard and Mango Avenue in Fontana.
Heavy digging is ongoing at the Ontario residence, with a crew of 20 involved in the search. A tractor has been deployed for the operation, helping teams explore the premises and reach depths of up to six feet (1.8 m).
“Who's to say how deep these items that we're looking for are buried, so we don't want to walk away thinking that we might have left something of importance,” McBride explains.
Three residents of the house have been questioned about the disappearance, and have later been released. They were found when officials analyzed suspicious ATM records, possibly indicating transactions made on Escobar's account after he disappeared.
“Of course the activity on the credit cards, certainly it’s a possibility that these people were involved,” McBride adds.