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Amber Alert Suspect, Children Located in Modesto

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MODESTO – Police located a man and two children who were the subject of an Amber Alert out of Riverside County Friday night.

Nicholas Zeko was taken into custody by Modesto Police Officers around midnight. Zeko and the two children were found at the Tiki Lodge on McHenry Avenue, along with the vehicle authorities were searching for. The gold trim of the vehicle appeared to have been spray-painted white, with some paint staining at least one of the tires. The license plate was also removed.

An ambulance was called for Zeko to have him medically cleared. The man and two children appeared to have been staying in an upstairs room at the motel. Police taped off a portion of the parking lot and vehicle with crime scene tape. The children appeared unharmed.

There was no sign of 32 year old Mariela Costello, who authorities in Riverside County said was a previously unreported missing person in the case. Her out of state relatives grew worried when they did not hear from her.

Zeko told her relatives via text message that he had dropped her off in the area of Sunnymead Ranch Parkway and Village Road in Moreno Valley. Zeko was said to have taken her wallet and cell phone. He later told authorities the same thing.

Riverside authorities said Costello and the children have a protective order against Zeko, and that he was also wanted on several felony and misdemeanor charges including terrorist threats, battery on a former spouse, and willful cruelty to a child.

Mariela Costello is five feet, five inches tall and weighs approximately 115 pounds. Her last known clothing is unknown. She has not been seen or heard from since September 16th.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Riverside County Sheriff’s Office at (951) 776-1099.

Carlos Rodriguez is an Emmy Award winning photojournalist specializing in public safety and natural disasters. His passion for local news stems from a deep commitment to his community, with a selfless mission to inform the citizens of the valley. As he worked on assignment for 19 days at the devastating Camp Fire in Paradise, California, he spent most of his time helping survivors contact their loved ones to let them know they were ok. Carlos is a veteran of Univision, FOX, and Telemundo TV stations and a native of Modesto, California.

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Homicide Investigated Near Tracy

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SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY – Authorities investigated the fatal shooting of a man Monday night just outside of the City of Tracy.

Shortly before 10:00pm Monday, deputies received a call of gunfire near the 26000 block of Lammers Road. Arriving deputies found a man who had been shot. The victim was identified as 58-year-old Eric Almason. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

There was no available suspect information Tuesday, and the investigation was ongoing.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office at (209) 446-4800 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 946-0600 where callers can remain anonymous.

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Several in Custody After Stolen Car Pursuit

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MODESTO – Authorities detained several occupants of a stolen vehicle Monday night that ended in South Modesto.

At about 9:00pm authorities located a vehicle that had been reported stolen near Hatch Road and Richland Avenue. A brief pursuit took place but was called off after the vehicle turned onto Dallas Street from West Hatch Road.

The Stanislaus County Sheriff Air Support Unit was able to follow the vehicle from above as it traveled west to the end of Glenn Avenue. The car was then parked on Imperial Avenue and the occupants attempted to walk away.

Stanislaus Sheriff Deputies and Ceres Police Officers set up a perimeter in the neighborhood and quickly detained two passengers. The driver was taken into custody a short time later in the backyard of a home.

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Robbery Reported at Sandwich Shop

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MODESTO – Police responded to a report of a robbery at a local sandwich shop late Monday afternoon.

At about 6:30pm officers with the Modesto Police Department responded to a report of an armed robbery at a Subway sandwich shop near the area of Floyd and Roselle Avenues. Early reports indicate the suspect took the register at gunpoint and fled the area.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Modesto Police Department at (209) 572-9500 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.

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