Suspect kills self after surrounded by police
By Reggie Ellis
strathmore – The man wanted for killing a woman and dumping her body in Strathmore shot himself after he was surrounded by police in Porterville.
On April 12, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office Violent Crimes Unit identified 47-year-old Jesus Ruiz of Porterville as the person responsible for the murder of a middle-aged woman whose body was found in a Strathmore orchard earlier this month. Later that day, nearly 40 detectives assisted in the service of search warrants in Watsonville, Lindsay and Porterville to find Ruiz, who also used the alias Alberto Rocha Fernandez.
Ultimately Ruiz was found residing at a home in the 17800 block of Road 208 in Porterville. As SWAT Personnel and Violent Crime Detectives arrived at the suspect’s residence, a single gunshot was fired from within the residence. Sheriff personnel deployed a robot and drone in and around the residence. The drone provided visual evidence that Ruiz was the only person inside the home and had shot himself. SWAT personnel entered the home and found Ruiz dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
While searching the rest of residence, detectives also found a sophisticated indoor marijuana growing operation.
Ruiz was wanted for the murder of an unidentified female whose body was found just before 5 p.m. on April 7 in an orchard in the 18800 block of Road 244 near Strathmore. She had visible signs of trauma to her upper torso and foul play was suspected. During an April 11 autopsy, it was determined the cause of death to be exsanguination due to sharp force trauma to the chest. Detectives determined the victim and Ruiz had recently begun dating. Shortly before the murder, investigators believe the couple were involved in a domestic violence incident during which Ruiz murdered the victim.
Police have not released the name of the woman, only identified as being between 30-45 years old, pending notification of the family. Detectives are currently working with the Mexican Consulate to provide the proper notification to the family prior. The coroner’s Office used tattoo information and finger print analysis from the federal database to identify the woman who did not match any missing person’s report in Tulare County and her fingerprints are not in the Sheriff’s Department’s system.
On April 6, Sheriff Mike Boudreaux released a photo of the ring she was wearing and information about a tattoo of a sea horse on her right shoulder, a peacock on her left shoulder and the name “Bruno” on her right wrist.
The case is still an active investigation and anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Van Curen and/or Sergeant Torres with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at 559-733-6218 or send anonymous information by sending a text or email to TCSO@tipnow.com or call 559-725-4194.