The suspect in the murder of a 23-year-old Los Banos man, who was believed to have been hiding in Turlock, turned himself in to law enforcement Thursday afternoon.
The Merced County Sheriff’s Department identified 19-year-old Salvador Vega Rendon Jr. as the prime suspect in the murder of Felipe Hernandez Bravo Jr.
Accompanied by his attorney, Rendon turned himself in to the sheriff’s department Thursday afternoon, several weeks after an arrest warrant was issued for him.
Bravo, a Merced College student, was last seen alive on New Year’s Eve in 2011. On Jan. 1, his body was found in the trunk of his car in a rural area of Moss Landing in Monterey County.
Bravo died from a single gunshot wound, according to the autopsy report. It’s believed his death occurred in Merced County.
A possible motive for the killing has not been released. Investigators have said Rendon and Bravo met each other a few months prior to Bravo’s death.
Rendon had family ties in Turlock, according to the sheriff’s department. Investigators believed he was hiding in the area or had taken off for Mexico.
Bravo’s sister, Flor Bravo, said she was told Rendon had been in Turlock.
The family doggedly kept up their pursuit of Rendon by posting wanted flyers all over Turlock.
“There is a sense of relief that he is off the streets,” Flor Bravo said. “But he hasn’t admitted anything, so the fight has just begun.”
Charges against Rendon are pending.
The sheriff’s department has not ruled out the possibility that other individuals were involved in the murder.