A Costa Mesa man and his brother were charged Tuesday with murder in the commission of a kidnapping after police said that DNA evidence linked them to a burned female body found in Irvine.
Gabino Valdivia-Guzman, 31, and his brother Zenaido Valdivia-Guzman, 24, of Santa Ana, were arraigned in custody in Orange County Superior Court Tuesday on special circumstances murder charges.
If convicted, they face a minimum sentence of life in prison without parole.
Gabino Valdivia-Guzman has pleaded not-guilty and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing next month. His brother had not yet entered a plea Tuesday night.
According to Irvine police, Gabino Valdivia-Guzman was driving his van through Santa Ana in September 2009 when he picked up a prostitute.
The prostitute didn't see his brother, Zenaido Valdivia-Guzman, in the back seat when she first got in, panicking when she spotted him, said Irvine Police Lt. Barry Aninag.