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Friday, April 19, 2024

Marion Oaks murder suspect arrested in New York

A 33-year-old man accused of killing a woman at a shopping plaza in Marion Oaks was arrested in New York.

On Thursday, in the early morning hours, the United States Marshal Service located the murder suspect, Melvin Arias, in the Bronx, New York.

Melvin Arias, 33, was located and arrested in the Bronx, New York on February 28, 2024.
Melvin Arias, 33, was located and arrested in the Bronx, New York on February 28, 2024. (Photo: Marion County Sheriff’s Office)

Arias was arrested on a Marion County warrant for second-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of 47-year-old Milagros Guzman Lopez.

Milagros Guzman Lopez
Milagros Guzman Lopez, 47, was fatally shot in Marion Oaks on January 12, 2024.

On January 12, shortly after 1:55 p.m., Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the BP gas station located at 168 Marion Oaks Boulevard in Ocala in reference to shots being fired in the area.

MCSO shots fired at Marion County Shopping plaza (January 12, 2024)
A large police presence, including MCSO deputies, responded to a shopping plaza in Marion Oaks on January 12, 2024, in reference to a shooting incident. (Photo: Marion County Sheriff’s Office)

Upon arrival, deputies located Guzman Lopez’s body. She had sustained several gunshot wounds and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Witnesses told deputies that a male shooter, later identified as Arias, had arrived at the shopping plaza, and a heated argument with Guzman Lopez had ensued in front of a nearby business.

Detectives ID victim in fatal shooting at Marion Oaks plaza gunman still at large
Melvin Arias, 33, was identified as the suspected gunman in the fatal shooting of Milagros Guzman Lopez on January 12, 2024.

According to MCSO, the witnesses advised that Arias retrieved a firearm from his vehicle and shot Guzman Lopez before fleeing the scene.

MCSO Major Crimes Detective Andrew Canterberry led the investigation and gathered enough information to obtain a warrant for Arias’ arrest. Investigators soon discovered that Arias may have fled to New York.

“After exhaustive searching and continued investigative efforts, it was determined that Arias was staying at an apartment in the Bronx,” stated MCSO in a media release.

Arias was successfully located and apprehended by United States Marshal Service agents. He was transported to Rikers Island – Eric M. Taylor Center, where he is currently being held.

MCSO detectives have traveled to New York to interview Arias and coordinate his extradition to Marion County.