After Brutal Machete Murder of Homestead Classmate, Couple Had Sex in the Woods

After five students at the Homestead Job Corps campus took part in the brutal murder of 17-year-old Jose Amaya Guardado, two stayed behind to have sex in the woods, according to new details released after the arrest of the fourth suspect in the case. 

Kaheem Arbelo, 20, Jonathan Lucas, 18, and Christian Colon, 19, were all arrested last week, and police say they confessed to the crimes on camera. Their arrest reports remain sealed by the courts, but yesterday police arrested 18-year-old Desiray Strickland, and her arrest report details the chilling events that lead to Guardado's death. 

Guardado was last seen on June 28, when he asked Job Corps administrators if he could leave campus to get food. The teen never returned, and days later his brother found his body buried in the woods near the campus. Job Corps is a federal program that provides vocational training and, at centers like the Homestead campus, room and board to at-risk youth between 16 and 24. 

The group of five, known as bullies around campus, had already laid a trap for Guardado. They had previously dug a hole in the woods and hidden a machete nearby. On that hot June night, they lured Guardado into the woods and then ambushed him. He was struck several times with the machete by Arbelo. While Guardado was still alive, the group ordered him to get into the grave they had already dug. Guardado tried to fight off his attackers, but Arbelo continued striking him with the machete until the teen's face collapsed. 

According to her arrest report, Strickland had excused herself to go pee in the woods and returned to find that the attack had already begun. She complained to the group that she had missed the first of the machete blows. 

After the attack, the group burned the victim's belongings and their own clothes and disposed of the machete and shovel they had used to dig the grave. Arabelo and Strickland also stayed behind to have sex in the woods.

Police haven't established a motive but believe it may have been linked to a debt Guardado owed to Arbelo. Police also believe that Arbelo may have been dealing drugs on campus. 

While the other three cooperate with police, Strickland did not go into custody without a fight. She shoved and head-butted authorities, tried to pick the lock of her handcuffs with the screws from an electrical outlet, and sketched "MPD go to hell" into a table. 

A fifth person is expected to be arrested soon. The four arrested all currently face second-degree murder, but those charges could be bumped up to first-degree murder. 
KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Kyle Munzenrieder