Police Arrest 18-Year-Old Illegal Immigrant From El Salvador on Suspicion of Homicide

Kos Temenes
By Kos Temenes
April 10, 2024US News
Police Arrest 18-Year-Old Illegal Immigrant From El Salvador on Suspicion of Homicide
The scene of a Jan. 6 homicide in Fresno County, Calif., on Jan. 17, 2024. (Courtesy of Fresno County Sheriff's Office)

Police in California have arrested an 18-year-old man in connection with a homicide in January that saw another man mutilated inside his car. Fresno County Sheriff’s Office announced on April 5 that they had arrested the man for the murder of 25-year-old Fraylee Hernandez, of Mendota.

Police have not yet released the identity of the suspect due to his age and his being in the juvenile court system. However, they confirmed that the man was an illegal immigrant from El Salvador.

“On Friday, April 5, homicide detectives with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office arrested an 18-year-old from Mendota. He has been booked into the Fresno County Juvenile Justice Campus and faces one count of murder. His name is not being released due to him currently being in the juvenile court system. The court has the discretion to transfer this matter to an adult court. That decision will be made at a later time,” according to a Facebook post by the Sheriff’s office.

Deputies responded to a call on Jan. 17 about a car parked in an orchard near Mendota, some 35 miles west of Fresno. Inside the car, officers discovered the dismembered body of a man, who was later identified as Mr. Hernandez.

NTD Photo
Fraylee Hernandez. (Courtesy of Fresno County Sheriff’s Office)

Detectives then identified the primary suspect in the killing, having later learned that the actual killing took place nearly 2 weeks earlier, on Jan. 6.

Police also established that the man and the victim were acquainted. The suspect was 17 years old at the time of the murder, and turned 18 in February. He is also on probation for assaulting his mother, on top of being in the United States illegally.

According to the deputies, the suspect was arrested and has been booked into the Fresno County Juvenile Justice Campus on suspicion of homicide.

The Fresno district attorney requested the suspect be tried as an adult, according to local media outlet KSEE-TV on April 9.

“We see a lot of different methods of homicide in our line of work. To shoot somebody is bad enough, but there’s some sort of separation there. When you’re that intimate with somebody that you would mutilate them, that’s a whole different level,” said Tony Botti, the public information officer for the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.

“They’ll beat up their own mom and then they’ll chop up another man, it seems, in the blink of an eye,” Mr Botti continued. “It’s very disturbing. And this is somebody we need to keep off our streets and locked up for the rest of his life.”

Although an arrest has been made, police are asking members of the public to contact Detective Richard Antunez at (559) 600-8221, Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-7867, or www.valleycrimestoppers.org in the event of their being able to provide additional information. Any such information will be treated anonymously, and may qualify for a cash reward.

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