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Double homicide discovered in Merced County

POSTED October 2, 2009 11:21 p.m.
The decomposing bodies of a Merced County couple found in their laundry room were the victims of a homicide, according to the Merced County Sheriff’s Department, and investigators have named a person of interest in the case.
Merced County deputies found the man and the woman Wednesday afternoon in a residence in the 400 block of E. Mission Avenue in Merced, during a welfare check. The bodies were so badly decomposed that a cause of death was not immediately apparent. The autopsies later showed the two had died from multiple stab wounds, according to Sheriff Mark Pazin.
Sheriff investigators are awaiting dental records to confirm the victims’ identities. Records indicate William Cisneros, 82, and the his wife Clara Cisneros, 42, lived at the house. Family members told investigators they hadn’t seen the couple in almost a month.
The sheriff’s department has identified Julio Cesar Guevara Bonilla, 52, as a person of interest in the case. Bonilla lived on the same property as the couple and helped them with their home-based gardening business. The sheriff’s department said Bonilla has not been seen for several weeks and they are hoping to track down his whereabouts.
A complaint about a couple of starving dogs on the property led to the discovery of the bodies, said sheriff spokesman Deputy Tom MacKenzie. A Merced County animal control officer didn’t get any response at the house and called for deputies, who initiated a welfare check and entered the residence. A deputy found the two bodies in a laundry room.
The sheriff’s department is asking anyone with information about the case or the whereabouts of Bonilla to call 385-7472. Callers can remain anonymous.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

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