Man convicted of killing 24-year-old Frank Lew Adams Jr.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - On Friday, Joseph Burciaga was convicted in the death of 24-year-old Frank Lew Adams Jr.

A jury convicted him of first-degree murder charges which carries a potential sentence of 25 years to life when he's sentenced on May 16, 2013.

ORIGINAL STORY (OCT. 15, 2010)

The man who was wanted in connection with the killing of 24-year-old Frank Lew Adams Jr. was arrested at the Mexico border.

The Bakersfield Police Department said at 5:45 a.m., 30-year-old Joseph Burciaga was re-entering the United States in a vehicle passing through the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego.

Burciaga handed agents his driver's license, and when they ran a check on his name, he was found to have the arrest warrant charging him with the killing of Adams, Sgt. Mary DeGeare said.

Adams went missing on Oct. 15 when, police said, his wife told them she dropped him off at a home on Big Bear Street, near Hosking Avenue in the South County, to talk to someone he knew inside. When he didn't come out
of the home, the wife called police.

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When police arrived, someone in the house told them Adams left with someone else through the back yard. Officers were allowed to search the home and didn't find him. He was officially reported as missing when he didn't come home the following day.

Then, on the morning of Oct. 18, the Kern County Fire Department went to a fire at the Big Bear Street home. Officials said the fire is being investigated by arson investigators. Bakersfield police took over the investigation on Sunday.

Police said they don't believe the story that Adams left willingly out the back of the home, saying it would be unlikely that he wouldn't tell his wife, who was waiting for him outside.

His body was found off Copus Road, about four miles east of Basic School Road. That location is more than 20 miles away from the home where he had last been seen. Sheriff's officials said Adams' body appears to have been placed at the scene.

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