'Horrific': Groom killed by wedding crashers

A groom has been brutally beaten to death just hours after his wedding by two uninvited guests.

December 14 was meant to be the happiest day of Joe Melgoza’s life – he had just married Esther Bustamante Melgoza and was celebrating with his family and new bride the backyard of his sister’s home in Chino, California.

Local police reported that as the wedding reception continued into the early hours of the next morning, brothers Rony Castaneda Ramirez, 28, and Josue Castaneda Ramirez, 19, arrived at the party.

Mr Melgoza’s brother told NBC the men lived nearby but did not know the groom and were asked to leave, but returned a short time later with weapons.

Joe Melgoza and Esther Bustamante Melgoza on their wedding day. Source: Facebook/GoFundMe

“Those cowards came back with bats. They were in the alley and it was dark… My brother tried to go get them. They pulled him into the house and they killed him,” Andy Velasquez claimed.

Police said they were called to the wedding reception around 2:20am (local time) and found Mr Melgoza in a nearby backyard with blunt force trauma to his head.

He was rushed to Chino Valley Medical Centre where he died from his injuries.

"My brother did not deserve to die like that, he was a good man, he was a solid man,” Mr Velasquez told NBC.

The two suspects were arrested on Sunday afternoon (local time).

Joe Melgoza, his daugter Lilly and new wife Esther (left) were preparing to start a new life together before Joe died at his wedding. Source: Facebook

Mr Melgoza leaves behind his 11-year-old daughter, Lilly, and his family have started a GoFundMe page to help support his family and to pay for his funeral service.

Mr Melgoza’s family said on the fundraising page they are “devastated and heartbroken” by his death.

“He was taken from us in such a tragic and horrific way,” cousin Alice Alvarez wrote.

Ms Alvarez described her cousin as “a loving son, brother, father, cousin, partner, family member and friend”.

“He always had a way to make you smile,” she added.

At the time of publication the page had raised more than $15,000.

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