Man arrested for David Childs' murder, bail set at $1 million

Man arrested for David Childs' murder, bail set at $1 million »Play Video
Armando Vieyra. Action News photo
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Police arrested Armando Vieyra, 34, for the murder of David Childs, 70, after a witness came forward with a photo from the night of the murder. He was arrested Monday on charges of premeditated first degree murder.

Childs' body was found last week in a downtown Yakima parking lot off North Front Street.

A witness came forward the morning after Childs' body was discovered, according to an affidavit. That man told police he left Carousel restaurant at 11 p.m. and witnessed a man standing over another man who was lying on the ground. He took a photo of the man and the car next to him and turned it over to police.

Police were able to identify the license plate in the photo and match it to a residence on the 3700 block of Lateral 1 Rd. in Wapato. They found the car at that residence and seized it.

Officers found Vieyra there and said he appeared to be the same man in the photo taken by the witness. He was taken into custody.

"Such a relief that the monster who committed such an act is not walking the streets," said Childs' friend Jan Lowell.

Vieyra told police he met Childs at the Yakima Arcade the night of the murder. He also admitted to engaging in sexual activity but said things were moving too fast.

Vieyra said he pushed Childs to the ground after some unwanted touching, then tried to help him up but Childs refused, according to the affidavit. He told investigators he then left in his car. Vieyra denies injuring or killing Childs.

“A claim of self-defense is not reasonable,” Yakima Police Captain Rod Light said, adding, “How can you be acting in self-defense when you stab someone 38 times?”

Investigators are working to get search warrants for Vieyra's car and his home.

A judge set bail at $1 million Tuesday afternoon in Yakima County Superior Court. Vieyra's is scheduled for arraignment April 9th.

The Yakima County Coroner said Childs died of a combination of head and neck trauma and "puncture wounds." It's unclear what caused the puncture wounds. The coroner said they did not come from a knife or a needle.

Childs was originally unidentified. Police were able to figure out who he was by matching partial dentures. A car key in his pocket also helped officers identify the body.

Authorities did not name any suspects prior to the arrest of Vieyra. The 34-year-old was booked into the Yakima County Jail Monday evening on charges of first degree murder.