The sister of a 20-year-old University of Illinois student who was killed in what police say was a planned robbery says she hopes her brother’s killers regret what they did.
“It pains me to know that someone who actually knew him, who actually knew how kind he was and who actually knew that he would never hurt anyone could do this to him,” said Julieta LaMalfa, sister of Vicente Mundo. “I hope they regret it, I hope.”
Officials said two arrests were made Wednesday in connection with Mundo’s death after his body was found in Champaign over the weekend.
Daniel Gonzalez and Reginald Scott were arrested and made "admissions" to the shooting death, Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh said. Champaign County Circuit Judge Tom Difanis ordered the two men held in lieu of a $2 million bond each.
LaMalfa said she was pained to learn that her brother knew his attackers.
“You knew him, you knew that he was trying to make something of himself,” LaMalfa said. “My kids are never going to meet him. I hope they regret it.”
Mundo, who grew up in Chicago, was last seen Jan. 25 when he left a campus apartment to meet a friend. He was wearing a red Chicago Blackhawks baseball cap, blue coat and red backpack.
His family had offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to his whereabouts after reporting him missing on Jan. 27.
His body was found Saturday in a rural area between Interstates 45 and 57 near Willard Airport. Police said an autopsy Monday indicated his death was a homicide.
"The murder occurred as part of a pre-planned armed robbery of Mr. Mundo involving relatively small amounts of marijuana and cash," Walsh said.
Police say the suspects took Mundo's body to a rural area northwest of Tolono and left the body near a tree line. A woman walking her dog on Saturday on a country road found Mundo's body. By then, investigators had examined Mundo's cellphone, which they said established a link to Gonzalez.
"They were able to determine who he had been communicating with prior to his disappearance," said State's Attorney Julia Rietz.
After the shooting, Scott and Gonzalez, both Parkland College students, took Mundo's car, his phone and the three bags of cannabis, Rietz said. The car was found Monday at the apartment complex where Scott lives.
The shooting occurred in Gonzalez's car, authorities said.
"Gonzalez was in the driver's seat. Mundo was in the passenger seat. Scott was hiding in the trunk with the seat down in the back when Mundo got in," Rietz said.
Then Scott got out of the trunk, displayed a weapon and demanded cash and marijuana, Rietz said. Mundo was shot as he tried to get out of the car, she said.
Police said they recovered Gonzalez's car, in which they found the license plate to Mundo's car. They also located a silver semi-automatic handgun they say was pawned by Scott at an Urbana pawn shop, Rietz said.
“It seems like he didn’t suffer because he wasn’t expecting it,” LaMalfa said. “Because again he didn’t deserve to suffer.”
It wasn't immediately clear whether Gonzalez or Scott have attorneys.