The man identified by law enforcement as the prime suspect in the murder of a 23-year-old Los Banos man was released Tuesday after the Merced County District Attorney’s Office declined to file charges.
Salvador Rendon Jr., 19, surrendered himself to the Merced County Sheriff’s Department on March 22, weeks after he was named as a suspect in the New Year’s Eve murder of Felipe Hernandez Bravo Jr.
The district attorney’s office said it could not in good consciousness prosecute Rendon for murder based on the evidence.
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.
Rendon has family ties in Turlock and was believed to have been staying in the area prior to surrendering himself.
The investigation is ongoing and it is possible Rendon could face charges in the future, according to the district attorney’s office.
“We want to make sure the right people are brought to justice,” said Bravo’s sister, Flor Bravo. “If we have to wait then we are going to trust the system. We are not done. We are going to pursue the truth.”