TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — An investigation into a multi-county robbery ring lead to the arrest of three teenagers in connection to the October murder of a Guatemalan national in Orosi, according to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies arrested Fernando Hernandez, 18, of Orosi, a 16-year-old boy from New London and a 17-year-old boy from Cutler for the murder of a 54-year-old man from Guatemala on Oct. 23, said spokeswoman Ashley Ritchie. The victim, which was first reported as a hit and run, was found dead in the area of Avenue 408 and Road 150 in Orosi.
Arriving deputies found additional injuries that indicated that the man was possibly shot. An Oct. 27th autopsy confirmed that the victim had died from a single gunshot wound to the head.
A multi-agency robbery task force identified and arrested numerous gang members involved in a string of seven robberies throughout Tulare and Fresno counties, Ritchie said. DNA evidence from their investigation linked some of the robbery suspects to the Orosi homicide.
Detectives found that the suspects lured the victim into a vehicle and drove him to the location where he was robbed, shot and run over by the suspects.
All three suspects will face new charges of homicide, robbery and gang enhancement, Ritchie said. The 16-year-old suspect is believed to be the shooter during the murder.
Detectives are working with the Guatemalan Consulate to find the victim’s family before releasing his name.
Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to contact the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at 559-733-6218. Or they can remain anonymous by calling or texting 559-725-4194, or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.