Man suspected in Indio homicide arrested in Imperial Beach

IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. - A man was arrested in Imperial Beach early Saturday in connection with the suspicious death of a 72-year-old watchman at an abandoned restaurant in the Coachella Valley.

Indio police detectives served a search warrant at a home in Imperial Beach at about 3:45 a.m. and took Joseph Robert Gentile, 59, into custody on suspicion of killing Guillermo "William" Saavedra, whose body was found Monday at a vacant restaurant on Town Street in Indio, 90 miles northeast of San Diego.

Saavedra was a caretaker at the now-defunct business. Saavedra's body showed no obvious signs of trauma but Riverside County Coroner's authorities ruled his death a homicide, Indio police Sgt. Dan Marshall said.

A four-day investigation led Indio detectives to the Imperial Beach home Friday night. Gentile had prior run-ins with Indio police for misdemeanor offenses but Marshall said he was unsure what they were.

Gentile was expected to be booked on suspicion of murder on Saturday, Marshall said. He remained in jail Saturday without bail, records showed.

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