TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – On the anniversary of Paul Abarca’s 2018 death the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office is searching for the suspect and a person of interest in his death. 

Investigators say in the early morning hours of April 28, 2018, deputies responded to a residence on the 37700 block of Road 58 for a residential fire, in New London. 

Deputies say they found 60-year-old Abarca dead inside the house. Homicide Detectives took over the investigation and later determined that the victim had died from blunt-force trauma to the upper body.  

Then officials say they believed the suspect(s) set his house on fire and fled shortly after.

Detectives say they were able to identify Arturo Mascareno as a suspect in the case.  It is believed Mascareno fled the area shortly after the death of Abarca to the Mexican state of Sinaloa, possibly to the city of Guasave.  

Arturo Mascareno

Over the last five years, detectives have continued to follow up on leads and evidence and say they have identified Jonathan Martinez-Lopez, also known as “Pato,” as a person of interest in the case.  

Jonathan Martinez-Lopez, also known as “Pato,”

Officials say It is believed Martinez-Lopez also has ties to the Mexican state of Sinaloa and the Salinas, California area.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Detective Jose Melendez or Sergeant Hector Rodriguez at (559) 733-6218 or anonymously by calling or texting (559) 725-4194 or through email at tcso@tipnow.com.