Juvenile witness forced to clean up murder scene, Phoenix police say

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A juvenile witness was forced at knife point to clean up a murder scene, according to Phoenix police. (Source: MCSO) A juvenile witness was forced at knife point to clean up a murder scene, according to Phoenix police. (Source: MCSO)
27-year-old Jovino Schroeder. (Source: MCSO) 27-year-old Jovino Schroeder. (Source: MCSO)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A juvenile witness was forced at knife point to clean up a murder scene, according to Phoenix police.

According to court documents, Phoenix police were called to a home near 19th Street and Adam Street on June 26. When officers arrived, they found a partially wrapped deceased man face down in a bathtub.

Fingerprints later identified the deceased man as Guadalupe Avena Castaneda. The autopsy results indicated he died from assault and asphyxiation.

After closer inspection of the victim, police discovered Castaneda was “hog tied” with a belt, electrical cord and some shoestring. Police also observed blood on and around his head and on a shirt pulled over his face.

The victim also had several lacerations on his head and face, which was later determined to be injuries inflicted with a sharp instrument.

The following day, a juvenile witness came forward to police. He told police that 27-year-old Jovino Schroeder, a man he had several previous encounters with, invited him to his home for food.

Once inside, the witness saw another man, who he did not know, sitting on the sofa. Schroeder never retrieved any food and instead, sat down in between the two of them on the sofa.

[PDF: Original police report on the arrest of 27-year-old Jovino Schroeder]

Schroeder began staring at each of them with a glaring type of stare, not saying anything. This made both men uncomfortable, so they stood up to leave.

That is when Schroeder reportedly began violently assaulting the other man, identified as Castaneda. The witness froze before yelling, “stop!” and “what are you doing?”.

After body slamming Castaneda, knocking him unconscious, Schroeder continued to pummel him and made two remarks.

“That’s what you get for touching my niece," Schroeder reportedly said. “This is what you get for you and my mom trying to set me up."

Police never found any connection between the two remarks, nor was there any documentation that Castaneda committed sexual offenses on young individuals.

The witness attempted to run for the door after fearing Schroeder was killing Castaneda. However, Schroeder pulled out a retractable razor blade knife and demanded him to help.

Fearing for his life, the witness helped Schroeder tie up Castaneda and place him in the bathtub. Schroeder continued to point the knife at the witness, compelling him to move room to room performing Schroeder’s demands.

After Castaneda was in the tub, Schroeder threw a bed sheet at the witness and told him to clean up the floor in the living room.

Once Schroeder left to change clothes, the witness was able to escape to his residence but did not say anything in fear of what Schroeder might do to him.

No evidence indicated that Castaneda and Schroeder knew each other, except for living in the same neighborhood, according to police.

During the interview, the witness repeatedly said they were sorry for not being able to help the victim and police noticed the witness’ hands trembling and the witness’ body shaking.

Schroeder was eventually located and arrested on July 13.

He is being charged with one count of first-degree murder, one count of child abuse and two counts of kidnapping.

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