Authorities search Independence landfill - KCTV5

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Police search Independence landfill for clues in triple homicide

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INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV) -

Police, along with other agencies, are searching an Independence landfill Tuesday for evidence in a triple homicide last month.

Authorities arrived at daybreak to the Courtney Ridge Recycling and Disposal Facility located at 2001 Missouri 291 near East Kentucky Road.

Independence police won't say what they are searching for only that it is pertinent to the triple homicide investigation from Nov. 16 after a home invasion that left three people dead and a 12-year-old boy critically wounded.

The victims were 48-year-old Maria Hernandez; her 20-year-old son, Antonio Hernandez; and her boyfriend, Tomas Dominguez.

About 20 cadets, police officers and detectives from Kansas City and Independence have been combing through loads of garbage looking for evidence.  And they are searching using small tools, like rakes and shovels, as well as large equipment.

They are suited in protective gear but the smell of that garbage is still very pungent.

Independence police spokesman Tom Gentry said they are searching in one particular area where they believe the trash was dropped that day.

"There are times when we do find what we are looking for. Not all the time, but that's typical around the country. But it's an effort that must be made. If you find what you are looking for that's great, if not, at least you tried," he said.

Five people have been charged in the triple homicide.

Carolos Zambrano Jr., 27, faces nine felony counts, including three first-degree murder charges.

The Jackson County prosecutor's office has also charged 32-year-old Antonio Cervantes III and 33-year-old Kevin M. Finley with first-degree murder and other counts.

Raul Soto, 22, of Kansas City, KS, and Bobbie J. Phillips, 37, of Independence, also face nine felony counts, including three counts of first-degree murder.

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