WPD still searching for murder suspects
The Woodlake Police Department is still searching for suspects in two of the city’s unsolved murders last year.
The most recent happened at about 11 p.m. on Nov. 13 when officers responded to shots being fired in the 200 block of N. Pepper St. Police arrived within seconds of the call and discovered a Hispanic male in his 20s dead in the backyard of the residence. Police Chief Mike Marquez said an autopsy confirmed the man was killed due to a gunshot wound but his name is not being released due to circumstances surrounding the case.
According to police, an unknown suspect walked through a common walkway between a duplex and then shot and killed the man. Marquez said they are not releasing any information on whether or not there is a connection between the victim and any possible suspects.
“We have a few witnesses who are not willing to provide information for fear of retaliation,” Marquez said. “At this point, we have exhausted all of our leads.”
Woodlake Police have similarly run out of options in a killing that happened nearly a year ago. Officers responded to a call of a man being shot outside of Cabrera’s Pool Hall on Valencia Boulevard at about 10:15 p.m. on Feb. 6, 2015. It was the city’s first murder of the year and the first since December 2012.
“We have not made much headway in that case either,” Marquez said.
Anyone with any information about the case should call the Woodlake Police Department at 559-564-3346.
Marquez added that the department has received some much needed help in terms of manpower. At the Jan. 25 meeting, Marquez swore in Woodlake’s newest officer Christopher Hinz, formerly of Manhattan Beach, Calif. Hinz is the department’s first hire in five months and the department is still looking to add more officers in the coming months.
“We are hiring officers as fast as we can train them,” Marquez said. “We are excited about continuing to create a quality department to better serve the community.”