Chavarria and Gonzales believe Smiley kidnapped and probably killed Bello, but LAPD Foothills Division homicide supervisor Jim Freund says, "We can't prove that he was kidnapped. That came from the brother. ... Obviously someone dropped him off in the position" in which he was found, lying in his backseat with a bag pulled over his head.

But when it comes to murders and kidnappings in Southern California linked to Jose Saenz, Detective Gonzales says, "People aren't willing to cooperate and talk about what is going on and what is happening."

The killer of his daughter's mother has won silence on the streets of Southern California. Short of a confession from Smiley, Bello's death will go down as accidental, a reminder that the cross-border drug carnage in America's cities — fueled by Smiley and young boys who grow up to be like him, and their willing customers — is never fully measured.

Contact the writer at cpelisek@laweekly.com.

Rolo Ontiveros was a biz student at Cal State L.A., who held gang meetings at the campus library.

A YouTube video flickers with images of Smiley rubbing his hands gleefully, then executing his friend.

"They aren't dumb-ass, shave-your-head, baggy-pants gangsters." —L.A. County Sheriff's Detective Traci Gonzales

"The cross-border system of American and Mexican criminals is huge." —LAPD Homicide Detective Ron Chavarria

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