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.
Police Arrest Felon With Gun After a Pursuit, Crash
MERCED – Authorities arrested a man wanted on firearm violations after a pursuit that ended in a car crash Wednesday afternoon.
At about 4:00pm, detectives with the Merced Police Department and the Gang Violence Suppression Unit tried to stop and apprehend 28 year old Mark Whitaker. Whitaker had an outstanding warrant for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Authorities spotted Whitaker on the 1600 block of Martin Luther King Junior Way but he didn’t stop for police. He fled, leading officers on a high speed chase that lasted almost six miles. Whitaker ended up crashing into a pole near the Atwater/Merced Expressway as he attempted to enter Highway 99. He fled on foot but was captured a short distance away.
An ambulance was called to check Whitaker following the crash, and he was taken to a hospital to be cleared by medics. He was later booked into the Merced County Jail on charges including reckless driving, evading officers, prohibited possession of firearms, resisting, and obstructing officers.
Modesto Authorities Release Stockton Officer Involved Shooting Video
MODESTO – Authorities with the Modesto Police Department released body cam video on Wednesday detailing a double homicide and subsequent officer involved shooting days later with the suspect in the case.
The homicide happened on Friday, October 16th on the 200 block of Semple Street in Modesto. Shortly before 9:00pm officers were dispatched to a report of a shooting with multiple victims in front of a home. Two men and a woman were found suffering from gunshot wounds. They were rushed to a hospital, but unfortunately two of the victims died.
Investigators determined the suspect involved in the shooting acted alone, and initially targeted a nearby residence during the shooting. He was identified as David Cummings of Stockton.
Cummings had an extensive criminal history, with involvement in a 2011 shooting with multiple victims that became a homicide, according to the police department video. He also had prior charges including weapons violations, theft and robbery, resisting arrest, and battery on a police officer. He had recently been released from a 64 month prison sentence.
The video stated the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office declined to file charges on the 2011 homicide case.
The video continues with body worn camera perspectives of a takedown team that had tracked Cummings to Sherwood Park in Stockton. Investigators located the vehicle he used to flee the Modesto shooting. Detectives coordinated efforts to distract Cummings with a flash bang device and arrest him, however he fled out of a parked vehicle armed with the same weapon used in the Modesto double homicide.
“Show me your hands! Get on the ground!” Officers can be heard shouting at the suspect as he fled into the park. Shots were fired moments later causing Cummings to drop the handgun. Officers can be seen proving care to the suspect after the shooting.
Cummings was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. Authorities said he is expected to survive.
No officers were injured and there were no other injuries reported during the confrontation with Cummings. The shooting remains under investigation by the Stockton Police Department and San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office.
Child Taken in Stolen Auto Reunited with Family
MERCED – The parents of a three year old girl who was taken with their car as it was stolen were relieved to have their child back home Monday night.
The incident happened at about 6:45pm on the 400 block of West 27th Street, as Melissa Foster was preparing to take her Toyota Corolla to a car wash.
“I took one second just to run back to my porch to grab my purse,” Foster said. “In that split second, my mom saw the car door open and close.”
Someone had jumped into the car and began driving off with it. Melissa’s three year old daughter Jessie Sanchez, or “JJ” as she is affectionately called, was still inside. Melissa chased after the car on foot for two blocks before the vehicle was able to get away.
She believed whoever took her car and her daughter had been watching and waiting for her.
Police searched the surrounding neighborhood for any sign of the the stolen vehicle and the child.
“Commonly when someone steals a car and finds a child inside they (the suspect) will usually abandon the car within three or four blocks,” said Captain Jay Struble with the Merced Police Department. “Unfortunately this was not the case here.”
As time continued to pass with no sign of the car or the child, authorities issued an Amber Alert. Photos of the car and child were posted and shared to social media sites to help the word spread.
At about 8:45pm, the California Highway Patrol received a call from a citizen saying they saw the vehicle parked at a Chevron in Chowchilla. Authorities responded and found the vehicle abandoned with the child inside. Officers had to force entry into the vehicle to gain access, but found the child was unharmed and uninjured.
Detectives with the Merced Police Department, officers with Chowchilla Police and California Highway Patrol, as well as a K-9 from the Merced County Sheriff’s Office searched the area for any signs of a suspect. Monday night there was no word of an arrest.
Captain Struble said investigators were looking at surveillance video from the area, but they can only make out what appeared to be a male figure.
Jessie was brought home and reunited with her family in Merced shortly before 9:30pm. To brighten her spirits, Officer Rogelio Rodriguez bought her lollipops to enjoy on the drive home.
“She was very excited to see her mom and dad when she got back.”
The parents expressed their gratitude for the authorities involved in searching for little Jessie, and thankful for the public and Amber Alert system that made everything in this incident work out.
“Your mind is just a fog in that moment,” the child’s mother said of the two hours waiting while police searched for the girl. “I know she’s so strong and so brave.”
News1 month ago
Major Crash Investigated in Tracy
Traffic1 week ago
Police Investigate Major Crash in Modesto
News2 months ago
Loved Ones Mourn Loss of Ceres Woman Killed in Shooting
News2 months ago
Missing Modesto Woman Found Safe
Traffic2 months ago
Two Killed in Highway 132 Crash
Traffic2 months ago
Highway Shut Down for Police Activity
Traffic2 months ago
Ceres Woman Faces Charges in Fatal Oakdale Crash
News2 months ago
Fatal Stabbing Investigated as Homicide, Suspect Arrested