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Police Charge Man with First-Degree Murder Following Double Homicide in Perry

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PERRY, Iowa – Police have made an arrest following a double homicide involving a mother and daughter over the weekend in Perry.

24-year-old Carlos Marlo Hernandez-Ventura is now facing two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder as a result of the investigation.

Officers were called to a home in the 800 block of 6th Street Saturday evening. Inside, they found 34-year-old Lourdes Flor De Leak and her 14-year-old daughter, Melany Barraza. Police say both suffered multiple lacerations and blunt force traumas.

"It was a pretty traumatic event. I can't go into any detail about the scene itself, but it was a traumatic event and violent affair," said Perry Police Chief Eric Vaughn.

Police say Leak and the suspect charged had been in a relationship. When Hernandez-Ventura was determined to be missing from the crime scene, authorities issued an alert. He was arrested without incident just across the Iowa border in Illinois.

A third person in the house, a 78-year-old man, was airlifted to a Des Moines hospital, where he is listed in critical condition.

"It’s a small town and everybody knows everybody," said friend Juan Meraz.

He described the community as being in shock.

“I would like to remember them as happy, outgoing people and very friendly,” said Meraz. “If you were to know them and call them for any favors, they were there for you.”

Chief Vaughn said this is the city's first homicide since 1999.

Hernandez-Ventura is in the Whiteside County Jail. He is awaiting extradition to Iowa to face charges.

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