Eduardo Mercado (20) , Rueben Diaz (21), and Julian Tamayo (26) stole two paddle boats owned by Maricopa Water District while high on crystal meth.
The incident occurred on a small pond just south of Lake Pleasant.
According to police, the three men tied the two boats together and paddled out onto the pond.
Some time later, Mercado is believed to have become frustrated with Diaz, who was paddling in the opposite direction of his acquaintances.
It was at that point that Mercado allegedly pushed Diaz into the water, preventing him from re-boarding, jumping in himself, and holding Diaz’s head under the water’s surface until he was dead, causing his lifeless body to sink to the bottom.
Tamayo apparently remained in his boat.
Witnesses at a nearby facility saw the men in the water and called police. A statement indicates that the two surviving men returned to shore, but that witnesses held them until the police could arrive.
The two men were facing only theft charges until police pieced together the story and determined that they were also looking at a homicide.
Mercado is facing second-degree murder charges.
Tamayo, is looking at aggravated assault on a police officer after an incident in the booking facility. Tamayo is also charged with hindering prosecution for allegedly attempting to secure a get-away for Mercado once they’d reached shore.
Diaz’s body was recovered by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday. It was lodged in the thick silt at the bottom of the pond.