Riverside Police Department Press Release

For Immediate Release

Date Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Contact Steven Frasher, Press Information Officer
Phone (951) 826-5147

Three arrests in 2006 Casa Blanca double murder

Riverside, Ca- Three suspects have been arrested for the December 8, 2006 gang-related double murder of a brother and sister outside a Riverside grocery.

Denaya Marie Shanks, 19, and her half-brother, Michael Edward Benge, 24, were seen in the company of three Hispanic males around the Stater Bros. store in the 2800-block of Mary Street. Police responded to a call of shots fired shortly before 9:30 p.m., and found Shanks and Benge laying on the sidewalk beside the store, near the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Mary Street, both with gunshot wounds to the head. Shanks died at the scene; Benge was taken by ambulance to Riverside Community Hospital where he died the following day.

Witnesses reported three Hispanic males fleeing from the scene into the Casa Blanca neighborhood. There were few leads, despite a $10,000 reward authorized by City Council on March 6, 2007. Riverside Police investigators developed information identifying three suspects: Vincent SOLORIO, 18, who was charged April 30 while in custody on another matter; Daniel RUVALCABA, 22, charged on May 2, and Ralph ROJAS, 20, who surrendered and was charged this morning, May 16. All are from Riverside; all are charged on suspicion of murder and are being held at Robert Presley Detention Center with no bail.

Investigation continues. Anyone with information helpful in this case is urged to call Riverside Police Detective Ron Sanfilippo at (951) 353-7105.