Two Latino men were found bound and shot near the 10-mile marker on Del Puerto Canyon Road, according to Sgt. Anthony Bejaran of the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department. He would not provide more specific details.
Deputies have identified San Jose resident Carlos Martinez, 39, as one of the victims. They had not identified a second body found on the shoulder of Del Puerto Canyon Road as of Tuesday, Aug. 7.
Detectives have few witnesses, Bejaran said, and have released little information to protect the evidence they have at this point.
The fire department was dispatched to the scene at 6:49 a.m. Saturday based on a medical aid call regarding a man down on the side of the road after an area resident noticed the bodies and reported them to authorities, according to West Stanislaus Count Fire Protection District officials.
The road was closed for about seven hours while sheriff’s investigators scoured the area for clues.
Martinez was last seen getting into a dark green BMW X5 SUV in the parking lot of a Target in Redwood City on Friday evening, Aug. 3, according to Bejaran. He was with two unidentified males. The license plate number on the vehicle was not identified.
Deputies hope to speak to Martinez’s two companions and are trying to identify the second body found on the roadside, Bejaran said. Investigators are asking for the cooperation of people in the community who might have seen anything in Patterson or the surrounding area that could be connected to the men’s deaths, he said.
Residents of Del Puerto Canyon and the San Antone Valley to the west were shaken by the incident, according to Mount Hamilton resident Glenn Dolfin, who formerly headed up the Mount Hamilton Range Improvement Association.
“Someone asked me the other day if we needed to start carrying guns again up here,” Dolfin said. “It’s a remote area, so we don’t get much police protection up here, especially with the budget cuts that are happening.”
Dolfin, a San Jose native, said he was surprised to learn that the identified victim was from San Jose and not a Central Valley city, such as Modesto, Turlock or Patterson.
“That’s a long ways to go to dump a body,” he said.
The winding, two-lane Del Puerto Canyon Road runs through the Diablo Range. The eastern end of the road is just west of Interstate 5 in Patterson. It dead ends in the west at the junction of Mines Road, which runs into Livermore, and San Antonio Valley Road, which heads west over Mount Hamilton and eventually leads to San Jose.
Anyone with information about the investigation can call Detective Cory Brown, 567-4485. Callers can also leave anonymous tips by calling Crime Stoppers, 521-4636.
Nick Rappley can be reached at 892-6187, ext. 31, or firstname.lastname@example.org.