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Cold Case Website Set up to Help Solve Tulare County Homicides

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The 1983 slaying of Eligio Zamorano, left, and Michael Morgan's 1981 killing are two of the cold cases being pursued by the Tulare County DA's Office. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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The Tulare County District Attorney’s Office now has a cold case website to solicit the public’s help in solving 13 homicides dating as far back as 1981.

“When a case is unsolved or has hit a roadblock, time can offer new technology, time can offer less pressure for witnesses to come forward, and time can give a renewed chance at justice.” — Tulare County DA Tim Ward

“In 2019, we created the Cold Case Homicide Unit to assist allied law enforcement agencies in their efforts to bring justice to waiting families,” said Tulare County DA Tim Ward in a news release on Tuesday. “The unit is beginning to see success, and we hope this website and frequent social media postings will help in its efforts.”

Last week, Ward announced the filing of a felony murder charge against Louis Villarreal, 34, in the 2008 cold case shooting death of Hernan Diaz. DNA evidence led to Villarreal’s arrest.

13 Cases Highlighted on Website

There are 13 cases listed on the website, which is at this link. More will be added as investigations continue, the DA’s office said. The cold case unit has two criminal investigators and one investigative aide.

One of the most baffling cases is the 2009 disappearance of Tulare landscaper William “Bill” Henry, 57, whose body has never been found.

Henry was last seen at his home late in the evening of Nov. 5, 2009. Investigators later found his truck and trailer burned in a field on Road 84, south of Avenue 188. Evidence collected from his home indicated that Henry had been assaulted there.

“Time is a meaningful component of homicide cases,” Ward said. “Time is not synonymous with forgetting, families and friends do not forget, and nor do homicide detectives. When a case is unsolved or has hit a roadblock, time can offer new technology, time can offer less pressure for witnesses to come forward, and time can give a renewed chance at justice.

“If someone has information regarding a homicide, please contact us. Somewhere there is a family member hoping for answers.”

If anyone has information about a cold case, the DA’s office urges them to call (559) 205-1021 or text (559) 731-0098.

Photos of Victims Also Needed

Additionally, the cold case unit is asking the public to provide portraits of five homicide victims. They are:

    • Luis Rodriguez, 28, killed on Feb. 22, 1985, in Porterville.
    • Bobby Desoto, 43, killed on Feb. 1, 1987, behind “The Mint” in Porterville.
    • Englebert Marquez, 28, killed on April 27, 2006, in Tulare.
    • Benito Jimenez, 22, killed on April 15, 2010, in Porterville.
    • Isabel Alvarado, 19, killed on Oct. 21, 2014, in Tulare.

Can You Help Solve These Cold Cases?

 

 

 

(Tulare County District Attorney’s Office)

 

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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