Missing woman case now murder investigation; 2 arrested

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) A missing woman case is now a murder investigation.

Police said Wednesday morning that two men have been arrested, and the search for a woman's body is underway.

Andrea Ladonne Russell, 34, disappeared under "suspicious circumstances," police said late last week. She was last seen May 7 at the Super 8 motel at 3620 Wible Road in Bakersfield.

Two vehicles were seen leaving the area, possibly connected to the case. The vehicles were described as a newer-model gray Chevrolet Suburban and an older-model, red Mazda sedan.

Police gave one update Tuesday: Surveillance video at the motel shows two men carrying an unspecified heavy object from a room.

Wednesday morning, police said they tracked down the SUV and sedan and made a pair of arrests.

The SUV was found in the 300 block of War Admiral Drive, in the area of Hosking and South Union Avenue in south Bakersfield. The sedan was found in the 10200 block of San Emedio Street in Lamont.

Ruben Castro, 33, of Bakersfield, was arrested on suspicion of murder and conspiracy. Daniel Norzagaray, 22, of Lamont, was arrested on suspicion of being an accessory and conspiracy.

Police didn't say what evidence they found to indicate Castro killed Russell.

Detectives are still searching for leads into the whereabouts of Russell's body. Anyone with information helpful to the investigation is asked to call Detective Don Cegielski at (661) 326-3552.