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MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE - 3:53 p.m.) A younger brother of accused carjack gang leader Raymond Dominguez is now a suspect in the murder of state witness Alfredo Mendiola and two companions.
Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo said Thursday that an empty .45 caliber shell found in Barangay Salawag, Dasmarinas City, Cavite where the bodies of Mendiola and the two other victims were dumped matched a gun seized from Ryan Dominguez.
The younger Dominguez, 20, was arrested with three others in Malolos, Bulacan for illegal possession of firearms, explosives and drugs.
All four also tested positive for the illegal drug methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, Robredo said.
"Fingerprints, blood and hair samples gathered from the van (and) crime scene are still in the process of being cross-matched with the four arrested suspects," he said.
The bodies of Mendiola, Mark Herrera and Eriberto Jumaqiowere found gagged and hogtied, with gunshot wounds in the head on Sunday.
Robredo said the apparent link of Ryan the murders bolstered the theory that Mendiola was killed in retaliation for his testimony in the case against the Dominguez brothers.
His two companions, Robredo said were "collateral damage."
"This is a big breakthrough to the case," Robredo said, although he stressed that there remain "loose ends," including the statement of Mendiola's purported boyfriend, a certain Dave.