Police In Bethany Arrest Two Men For Murder Of Missionary

Sunday, April 5th 2015, 5:19 pm
By: News 9

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI), Bethany Police and the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office's Tactical Team surrounded a south Oklahoma City duplex on Saturday and took two men into custody.

The men were living in the upstairs unit. Selvin Gonzalez, 37, was arrested for First-Degree Murder and Arson in connection with the death of an elderly man in Bethany.

Miguel Martinez was arrested for Accessory after the fact.

Sunday, friends and family members of the victim mourned his loss. Church members say the victim was Jose Ruiz, 73, who was a missionary from Mexico. He had been going back and forth from his church in Mexico to the metro.

3/23/2015 Related Story: Authorities Treating Deadly House Fire In Bethany As Homicide

When Ruiz was in the area, he stayed in a church-owned home. That was where court documents said the victim's throat was slashed and possibly doused in an accelerant before being charred.

The arrests of the suspects may symbolize a step toward justice for the victim, but almost two weeks after his death, family and friends of Ruiz are still waiting to lay him to rest. The medical examiner continues to work toward an official identification.

Until then, they'll continue to do what Ruiz did – say a prayer for those who need it.

“I know Mr. Ruiz is in a better place. I feel sorry for those people who did it and we hope they get close to Jesus. And they can be forgiven too,” said church member Isis Ruiz.

Gonzalez was taken to Baptist Integris for burns police believe he got while setting the fire at the victim's home. Hospital officials said Sunday Gonzalez was listed in fair condition with burns to the hands, thigh and face.

Authorities said Gonzalez was from Guatemala.