Gerber homicide victim identified, possibly drug related

Oct 13, 2015 5:43 PM by News Staff

The Tehama County sheriff’s office has identified a man found dead in Gerber last week, and officials say his death may be drug related.

Authorities say the man found shot in the head near Central Avenue in Gerber just before 11 p.m. last Thursday is Jose Jesus Ontiveros, of Tulare.

Investigators say Ontiveros’ body was found near a marijuana grow they believe is connected to the homicide.

Francisco Lope, who lives nearby told deputies he heard noises outside his house, and when he opened a sliding glass door he spotted two men, who began firing at him.

Lopez tells detectives he ran into his house, and the two men ran off in a separate direction.

Early reports indicated multiple gunshots from the area, and when authorities arrived six minutes later Ontiveros’ body was found.

Detectives found several shell casings in Lopez’s backyard, and believe Ontiveros was one of the two men spotted by Lopez outside his house.

Lopez tells detectives he does not know Ontiveros and sheriff's officials would not comment of whether or not Lopez is a suspect in Ontiveros' death. The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information is asked to call the Tehama County Sheriff's Office at (530) 529-7920.


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