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Suspect charged with homicide in pond drowning

Peoria police detectives have charged Eduardo Mercado, 20, with
second-degree murder in the drowning death of his friend, Rueben Diaz,
21, of El Mirage, according to a statement released by the Peoria police
department.

The incident occurred Saturday afternoon at a private pond just south of
Lake Pleasant in
Peoria.

A second suspect, Julian
Tamayo, 26, was charged with hindering prosecution and aggravated
assault on a police officer.

Tamayo assaulted a police officer in the police station while being booked.
The hindering charge is related to Tamayo’s assistance in trying to help
Mercado escape after the murder, according to Peoria police.

The suspects, who reportedly admitted they had been using meth, went to
the water area yesterday
afternoon with Diaz and stole two paddle boats. The paddle boats were the
property of the Maricopa Water District, which runs the private pond area
south of Lake Pleasant.

The three men reportedly tied the two paddle boats together, and Mercado
became angry when Diaz began paddling his boat in the opposite direction
Mercado and Tamayo were paddling theirs, police said.

Witnesses at a nearby facility observed the men in the water, and called
police.

Mercado threw Diaz in the water and held him under the water, until Diaz
disappeared below the surface. Mercado and Tamayo
returned to shore, but witnesses detained
them until police arrived.

Divers recovered Diaz’ body around 11 am this morning, officers said.