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Loved Ones Mourn Loss of Ceres Woman Killed in Shooting

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CERES – A woman shot and killed last week was identified on a GoFundMe page where her loved ones are seeking help with funeral costs.

Yessica Mendoza was 29 years old. She was shot Thursday night on the 3900 block of Suncrest Drive in Ceres. She was a young mother of three children.

At about 9:17pm Thursday, police received a call reporting a person shot. The caller reported her husband’s friend had just shot a woman. Authorities also received another phone call indicating the woman had shot herself.

Authorities at the scene said the suspect, identified as 29 year old Daniel Garcia, was staying at the residence where the shooting occurred. They believe Yessica came over to visit at some point in the day.

Arriving officers found the victim down in the grass bleeding from at least one gunshot wound. They began lifesaving measures on the woman and performed CPR until medics arrived. Police officers searched the home to make sure there were no suspects inside and no one else was injured, escorting the occupants out of the house.

Garcia was detained as a person of interest after declining to cooperate with authorities. A small caliber handgun was later located near the victim in the grass.

Garcia was taken to the Ceres Police Department to be interviewed by detectives, and was later booked into the Stanislaus County Safety Center for homicide. Authorities say he and the victim have children together.

The victim was rushed to a hospital by ambulance where she died from her injuries. A GoFundMe account was created to help with funeral costs.

“We weren’t prepared for such a tragedy. We need all the help we can get to give her a proper burial and lay her body to rest”

If you would like to donate, you can do so via GoFundMe by CLICKING HERE.

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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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