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Detectives seek vehicle spotted near homicide

Detectives seek vehicle spotted near homicide

Anyone with information on this light-colored 1986 Toyota Celica with a dark-colored hood should contact Detective Darwin Hatfield at 525-7100.


POSTED March 29, 2011 9:48 p.m.

The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a vehicle and two males connected to a Modesto homicide.

The sheriff’s department is investigating a shooting that occurred Friday in the 2500 block of Paradise Road and claimed the life of 51-year-old Gregory Bettencourt.

Bettencourt’s fiancé made the grisly discovery when she returned home shortly before 2 p.m. and found Bettencourt on the floor bleeding from a gunshot wound and the house ransacked. Bettencourt, who worked as a campus supervisor at Hanshaw Middle School, was pronounced dead at the scene.

During the investigation detectives located video surveillance showing a vehicle pulling into a nearby market at 10:58 a.m. The vehicle is described as a light-colored 1986 Toyota Celica with a dark-colored hood.  Two male subjects, wearing dark hooded sweatshirts, get out of the car and walk toward the victim's residence. The driver remained in the vehicle.  A short time later the vehicle leaves without the two subjects.

Detectives located a legal marijuana grow at the residence and are unsure at this time if it is related to the shooting, said sheriff spokesman Sgt. Keith Rakoncza.

Detectives are requesting that anyone with information about this case to contact Detective Darwin Hatfield at 525-7100. Callers can also leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at 521-4636. Tipsters can also e-mail tips at http://www.modestopolice.com/CrimeStoppers, or text them to CRIMES (274637) by typing "Tip704" plus the message and be eligible for a cash reward.

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