The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 4, 2012

Carthage police arrest man in murder probe

From staff reports

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Carthage police on Friday arrested Juan Mendoza in connection with the death of Mario Gonzalez, 43, whose body was found April 25 in Spring River at the north city limits of Carthage.

Mendoza, 45, was arrested at the Carthage Police Department and is being held pending the filing of formal charges of first-degree murder, according to Capt. Randee Kaiser, of the Carthage Police Department.

The Tri-State Major Case squad was activated for the investigation and 50 officers from a number of jurisdictions assisted Carthage police in the investigation.

Mendoza was a Carthage resident, but did not have what police would consider a permanent address. Kaiser said he was not, however, a resident of the homeless camp where Gonzalez had been living.

Kaiser would not discuss information about a potential motive, or additional autopsy results or other evidence from lab tests.

“This is still an ongoing investigation,” he said.

He said paperwork on the charge has been submitted to the Jasper County prosecutor’s office.