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Modesto Police Search For Missing Elderly Man

Gaby Muro

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Photo: Modesto Police Department

MODESTO – The Modesto Police Department is searching for 86 year old Billie Whitaker who was reported missing Sunday night.

Whitaker was last seen at around 3:00 pm in the area of Desert Willow Lane and East Orangeburg Avenue.

Police say Whitaker was on his way to Walmart on Plaza Parkway and was driving his gray 2013 Toyota pickup with the California license plate number of 16787DV.

He was last seen wearing a dark colored Air Force hat with a blue and white button up shirt and jeans. Whitaker weighs 160 pounds and is 5’09” tall.

According to police he is dependent on insulin and may be disoriented or confused.

Anyone with information on Whitaker’s whereabouts is urged to contact the non emergency dispatch number at 209-552-2470.

Gaby Muro is a journalist specializing in local issues and breaking news. She holds two degrees from San Joaquin Delta College. In 2018, she was considered one of the top 40 journalism students in the United States and received a scholarship to cover international conflict news near the Israeli-Syrian Border for 10 Days. Some of her work as a student has been submitted to the Student Emmy Awards. She was crowned the 2019 Miss Merced County title holder through the Miss America Organization and competed for the title of Miss California, advocating for epilepsy awareness. She has been featured on Investigation Discovery, profiling local homicide cases. Gaby is a native of Stockton, California.

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Armed Suspect Captured After Pursuit, Crash

Carlos Rodriguez

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STOCKTON – A pursuit involving an armed suspect ended in a collision Monday evening.

At about 6:33pm an officer tried to pull over a vehicle and recognized the motorist as someone who was on post release community supervision for gun charges. The driver did not stop and led the officer on a pursuit.

The suspect vehicle collided into a pole near the intersection of East Miner Avenue and North Pilgrim Street. The Stockton Police vehicle behind the suspect collided into the duplex on the corner.

The officer in the vehicle and one occupant of the home were taken to a hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

Police say the suspect was apprehended and found with a firearm in his possession. Their identity was not available Monday night.

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Stanislaus State University Warns Students And Staff about Positive COVID-19 Cases Present on Campus

Gaby Muro

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TURLOCK – Safety and Risk Management with the Stanislaus State University Campus in Turlock said two persons who tested positive for COVID-19 were present on campus and warned students and staff about potential exposure.

The university said via an email that on January 15th they received notice two persons previously on campus had tested positive for COVID-19.

The first person was on campus from Monday, January 11th to the 13th from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the second floor of the Demergasso-Bava Hall which houses the departments of business, communications, cognitive studies, liberal studies, education and computer science. The campus newspaper, The Signal and the radio station, KCSS are located at the Demergasso-Bava Hall as well.

Stanislaus State said in the email sent out to students and faculty that the person was present at the restrooms and mailroom on the second floor of the hall.

The second person was on campus Wednesday, January 13th at the shipping and receiving warehouse between 8:00am and 5:00pm, the warehouse restrooms near the break rooms, and the Mary Stuart Rogers Building shipping and receiving elevator at about 3:30pm.

The university also mentioned that students or faculty who were at the same locations may or may not have been exposed to the virus. They mentioned no action was required for those who felt they were not exposed and that an exposure investigation was underway. Those who were considered to be in close contact were told they would receive an additional notification.

Anyone who possibly came into contact with the persons infected on campus was asked to complete the Stan State COVID -19 Reporting Form and can contact the Stan State COVID-19 Response Team by email at covid-reporting@csustan.edu or by phone at (209) 664-6500.

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Fundraiser Established For Ceres Homicide Victim

Gaby Muro

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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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