Brother, Sister Accused in Murder-for-Hire Scheme

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No sibling rivalry here; investigators say Manuel and Natalia Perez are so connected, the sister tried to set up a murder for her brother through a contract killer.

The motive?

“If you don’t have a witness or victims to testify, then maybe a case can’t proceed against you,” said Sergeant Jason Ramos of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff’s deputies believe Manuel was trying to eliminate the now-adult woman he’s accused of molesting back in 1996 when she was a child.

He’s been in jail since December facing charges of lewd acts for what he allegedly did to that woman, and another young girl.

“Natalia, being on the outside, was able to facilitate the transfer of a vehicle in lieu of cash payment to be used as collateral. She also gave the hired person a photo of the intended victim so she was very much involved in this conspiracy,” Ramos said.

Ramos also told FOX40 there may be another conspirator in the murder-for-hire plot. They are now looking for Judith “Christine” Engkabo.

FOX40 went to the Perez home in the Arden Arcade area to get some answers about these accusations, but no one would respond.

Friends who live nearby knew Manuel was in jail, but were stunned to learn why Natalia had joined him.

They believe the investigation is flawed.

“Sometimes they come into my home and I went to their yard sale. She’s a good person,” said Natalia’s friend Maria Mendoza.

“She doesn’t seem like she can harm an animal at all.  I’ve taken them yard-saleing a couple times. She’s a sweet lady, I don’t believe she could do anything like this,” said Maria’s son Jose.

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