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Authorities Seek Vehicle, Person of Interest in Death Investigation

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Photos - Merced County Sheriff's Office

WINTON – A suspicious death investigation led authorities on a search for a person of interest and a missing vehicle.

Deputies with the Merced County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of an unresponsive woman on the 7900 block of Olive Avenue. Inside the bedroom of a residence they located 41 year old Tammy Balloue deceased.

Investigators discovered her vehicle was missing, described as a blue Lexus ES300 with license plate 8EPN976. Authorities also determined that 34 year old Jorge Luis Martinez was with Balloue earlier in the day.

Martinez’s whereabouts were unknown, and authorities ask anyone with information regarding his location or that of the missing vehicle to call 911.

Investigators said the cause of Balloue’s death was pending.

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Teen Arrested After High Speed Chase That Began in Ceres

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CERES – A 14 year old boy was arrested Friday night after leading authorities on a pursuit that at times exceeded well over 100 miles per hour.

At about 9:45pm, a Ceres Police Officer attempted to stop a vehicle near the intersection of Whitmore Avenue and Mitchell Road. The driver did not stop and fled south on Mitchell Road. The officer was advised by dispatch that the vehicle had been reported stolen from the Bay Area.

The pursuit reached speeds of over 100 miles per hour as it continued south on Highway 99, exiting on Keyes Road and heading east. The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s new helicopter also joined the pursuit, assisting ground units from above.

The pursuit continued north on Hickman Road, where assisting deputies were about to place a spike strip to try to stop the driver. The pursuit then turned east on Lake Road shortly before the Hickman Bridge, and entered an orchard to the south near the High Line Canal.

After about twenty minutes of searching the orchard, the driver was taken into custody by a search team. He was only identified as a 14 year old boy, and was taken away to be booked into juvenile hall.

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Brush Fire Blows Smoke Into Valley

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MODESTO – Hazy smoke from a Livermore area fire blew into the valley Thursday afternoon.

The incident called the “Tesla Fire” was last reported to be about 250 acres with potential for growth by about 7:00pm.

The fire was spotted shortly before 6:00pm near Tesla Road, west of Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area. Aircraft assigned to the incident reported critical rate of spread reaching 100 acres in a short period of time, with potential to reach at least 500 acres.

Fire crews work to direct the blaze to a riverbed, requesting several tankers and helicopters to assist.

Winds were reported in the Modesto area at about 15mph. Those with sensitivity and health issues should remain indoors.

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Modesto Homicide Victim Identified

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MODESTO – Authorities identified the victim of Tuesday night’s fatal shooting on Ramsey Drive as 29 year old Michelle Rose Gonzales.

Shortly before 9:30pm officers with the Modesto Police Department responded to the 500 block of Ramsey Drive after receiving a call from a child saying their mother had been shot. Arriving officers located the victim in front of her home suffering from gunshot wounds. Life saving efforts were performed, but she died from her injuries.

Detectives responded to continue the investigation and quickly identified the suspect. Authorities discovered he was also a potential suspect in a homicide just a couple hours earlier in San Jose.

Meanwhile, officers with California Highway Patrol located the suspect traveling into the Bay Area and engaged in a pursuit. The pursuit traveled north along Highway 101 and into South San Jose, where the suspect fled on foot and barricaded himself in a shed behind a home near the 100 block of Bendorf Drive. An hours long standoff took place that ended in an officer involved shooting. The suspect was struck by gunfire and taken to a hospital where he was pronounced deceased. The suspect’s identity is yet to be released by officials.

In a GoFundMe account established for Michelle and her children, she was described as a mother of two and a young, beautiful soul who was the victim of a senseless act of domestic violence.

Anyone interested in donating to the fundraiser can do so by CLICKING HERE.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Detective Ra Pouv at (209) 572-9826, or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.

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