They were teenagers at the time they killed Keith Combs and Eugene “Cliff” Ellis. Elias and Chavez were both sentenced to serve life without the possibility of parole. They both received consecutive life terms, one term for each victim.
On the morning of Sept. 25, 1993, people riding off-road vehicles discovered the victims’ bodies in an undeveloped area east of Palm Avenue and Interstate 805. They had been shot to death, and a truck belonging to one of them had been stolen.
The previous night, the San Diego-stationed servicemen had gone to the remote locale along with other Navy members to socialize and drink beer around a bonfire, Herbert said.
Though detectives who documented the murder scene recovered fingerprints and genetic evidence apparently belonging to the killer, the original investigation yielded no arrests. A recently discovered DNA match implicated Chavez in the slayings of Combs and Ellis.
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