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Fundraiser Established For Ceres Homicide Victim

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Photo: Peña Family

CERES – Authorities identified 18-year-old Miguel Peña of Ceres, known as Sebastián to his family, as the homicide victim from Monday.

Sebastián was a passenger of a vehicle with two other occupants on Malik Drive near Strawberry Fields Park Monday night, when another vehicle drove by and opened fire. Sebastián was struck several times, another occupant was struck in the arm.

Just two months before his death, Sebastián had lost his mother after a hard fought battle with cancer.

“Two months ago we suffered the great loss of my mother, who fought tirelessly with cancer and sadly lost the battle. Today my family is in mourning again after the loss of my younger brother Miguel Ángel Sebastián Peña,” said Fabiola Peña, one of Sebastián’s older sisters in a GoFundMe fundraiser.

Police say Sebastián underwent surgery but passed away a few days after the shooting. Peña says her family is left with enormous pain and emptiness.

“With heart in hand we ask you to help us with whatever you can; either financially or with your prayers. Family and friends, the Peña family. We need you more than ever.”

Anyone who would like to help the Peña family can do so by CLICKING HERE.

The Ceres Police Department is continuing to investigate and ask anyone with information or surveillance video to contact Officer Brian Petersen at (209) 538-5627. If callers wish to remain anonymous they can contact Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 or 1-866-602-7463.

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Schools Locked Down for Suspect Search

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MODESTO – Two schools were placed on lockdown during a search for a suspect Friday afternoon.

The incident happened at about 1:00pm when a Stanislaus County Sheriff Deputy noticed a vehicle that had been reported stolen on Dallas Street near Glenn Avenue. The driver of the stolen vehicle appeared to be talking to someone in the area, according to officials at the scene.

The driver ran away on foot as deputies made their approach. The man jumped fences through a yard and fled into an alleyway. The Stanislaus Sheriff Air Unit spotted the man making his way into a yard on Las Vegas Street.

Bret Harte Elementary and Hanshaw Middle School were placed on lockdown as a search team was organized. Within a few minutes the man was located hiding under a vehicle and quickly detained without incident.

By 2:00pm the lockdowns were lifted. No injuries were reported.

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Stockton Police Investigate Fatal Shooting

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STOCKTON – Police investigated the fatal shooting of a man in broad daylight Tuesday afternoon.

At about 3:30pm Officers responded to the 900 block of Porter Avenue for a report of a shooting. A 29 year old man was found at the scene suffering from at least one gunshot wound. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital where he died from his injuries.

Residents in the area reported hearing a gunshot shortly before police arrived.

Porter Avenue was closed by authorities while detectives responded to investigate the case. No suspect information or motive was available Tuesday night.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact police at (209) 937-8377 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 946-0600 where callers can remain anonymous.

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Woman Involved in Amber Alert Found Safe

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MODESTO – The woman involved in a recent Amber Alert that involved children and a suspect found in Modesto was found safe Monday, authorities said.

Mariela Costello, 32, was found safe although further details regarding her location were not provided.

Costello was identified as a previously unreported missing person by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office. Out of state relatives became concerned when they did not hear from her sometime around September 16th.

Investigators turned their focus on 34 year old Nicholas Zeko who told authorities he left the woman in Moreno Valley, but kept her wallet and cell phone. Authorities issued an Amber Alert after Zeko fled with their two children, claiming their lives were in imminent danger.

Zeko and the two children were found in Modesto at the Tiki Lodge on McHenry Avenue. A Modesto Police officer noticed his SUV that had its trim freshly painted. Zeko was quickly detained without incident.

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