Copley police chief says 4th victim miraculously escaped from gruesome triple murder

Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 10:28 PM EDT
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SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - On Monday Copley police said a 4th person narrowly escaped the same fate as three other Summit County murder victims found last Friday.

Authorities discovered the bodies of two men dumped in Akron Friday morning and then Copley police found a third man’s body dumped in a wooded area around the same time. All three men were tied up, gagged, and shot execution style.

Copley Police Chief Michael Mier said a 4th person who is not being named right now somehow managed to survive the attack.

“We became aware that there was a 4th intended victim,” Chief Mier said. “The victim is okay at this time.”

Chief Mier is well aware that this horrific murder case has captured the attention of everyone in the community.

“Thank God that they was able to escape and not have their body being found too,” said Summit County resident Antoine Kide. “It’s just crazy. Everything is crazy all the time. It gets crazier and crazier as time goes on. I think it’s scary, horrifying.”

“I feel so strongly for the people who were killed and especially the person who survived like their life is changed forever,” said Rominy Moss, another Summit County resident.

Police have arrested one person in connection to these grisly murders. 58-year-old Elias Gudino is charged with aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder.

Police believe there may have been more than one killer.

“Well, we think it’s always possible there could be others involved and that’s one of the things we’re trying to determine,” said Mier.

19 News learned the names of the three victims: Inmer Reyes, Victor Varela-Rodriguez, and Domingo Castillo-Reyes.

Police said all the men were from Youngstown. Police suspect the men were kidnapped and taken from somewhere else and brought to Summit County.

Mier doesn’t think there are more victims.

“I don’t think so, but we don’t know for sure,” Mier admitted.

19 News discovered Gudino is already a convicted criminal. According to court records from 2009, a DEA investigation found that Gudino was running a cocaine distribution ring from his home in Akron at the time. The complaint also said Gudino had been trafficking drugs since the 1990s. He pled guilty to drug trafficking charges in 2010 and spent the next 7 years behind bars.

“Clearly when this sort of thing happens very often it’s because of the activities folks are involved in and the folks that they interact or associate with,” said Chief Mier.

Chief Mier believes all the murders were targeted so the community has nothing to fear.

Gudino will be back in court on Wednesday morning.