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Murder Suspect in Kings River Camp Host Killing Arrested in Missouri
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By Bill McEwen, News Director
Published 5 months ago on
November 3, 2023

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Three days after asking for the public’s help in locating a homicide suspect, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of Michael Brandon “Gage” Kent on Thursday afternoon.

Camp host James Buford, 69, was shot and killed on July 19, 2023, near Winton Park. (Fresno County SO)

Law enforcement personnel in Camden County, Missouri, arrested Kent, 40, of Fresno in connection with the July 19 shooting death of James Buford near Piedra and Elwood roads near the Kings River.

Buford, 69, was a camp host at Winton Park, which is near the crime scene.

The sheriff’s office says the extradition process is underway to have Kent transported to Fresno County to face a murder charge.

“During the week, our office received information of Kent possibly being in Missouri,” said sheriff’s spokesman Tony Botti. “Our detectives coordinated with U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force to try and locate Kent. On Thursday, they found him in the city of Camdenton, Missouri.”

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact detective Rudy Tafoya at (559) 600-8207 or rudolpho.tafoya@fresnosheriff.org.

Tipsters may also call Valley Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-7867. You will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a $2,000 cash reward.

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Bill McEwen,
News Director
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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