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3 teens arrested in death of man found on Gwinnett walking trail

Three teenagers have been arrested in connection with the death of a Lawrenceville man whose body was found near a Gwinnett County walking trail, police said Tuesday.

Children discovered the body of 21-year-old Willian Tunchez near the trail last Monday, hours after the man’s father reported him missing. Investigators said they have connected his death to three armed robberies in the Suwanee area.

MORE: Man found by children on Gwinnett walking trail died of gunshot wound, police say

Franchea Torres, 17, Nicholas Evans, 17, and Khalil Miller, 18, were spotted at the scenes of the robberies, not far from where Tunchez’s body was found on Northcliff Drive, Gwinnett police spokeswoman Cpl. Michele Pihera said. They were arrested Friday in connection with the robberies, and police added murder charges on Monday.

Willian Tunchez (Photo: Channel 2 Action News)

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“As of now, the motive for this homicide appears to be robbery,” Pihera said. “It is our hope that the arrest of these individuals starts to bring some closure to Tunchez’s family and friends.”

Torres, who is from Norcross, faces three counts of armed robbery. Evans and Miller, both from Suwanee, are each facing two counts of armed robbery and one count of aggravated assault. 

All three are facing a charge of felony murder in connection with Tunchez’s fatal shooting, which investigators think happened about 8 p.m. Oct. 7 based on his autopsy results.

Tunchez was last seen the night of Oct. 7, after he dropped off his brother at their Lawrenceville home and left to visit a family member. He was reported missing around noon the next day. 

His father told police at the time it was out of character for Tunchez not to communicate with family. He had never disappeared before, he said. 

Police were called to the 2800 block of Northcliff Drive about 5 p.m. Oct. 8 after the children found his body near the trail.  Tunchez’s truck was found parked along a curb a few houses down.

Gwinnett police found Tunchez's body on Oct. 8 but did not identify him until the next day, when they connected the death to a missing person's case. (Photo: Gwinnett Police Department)

Evans lives about a half-mile away on the other end of Northcliff Drive, jail records show.

The three teens were identified through a tip about one of the suspects, Pihera said. 

 “Research into that suspect led to the identities of the other two suspects,” she said.

Police have not identified the body.

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