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Turlock man arrested for Livingston homicide
Josiah Lawrence Williams
Josiah Lawrence Williams

A Turlock man was taken into custody Wednesday on allegations he is the suspect sought by the Merced County Sheriff’s Department for the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old woman.

The suspect was identified by the sheriff’s department as Josiah Lawrence Williams, 22, of Turlock.

The victim has been identified as Liliana Zaragoza, 19, of Livingston. She was killed on June 25 at a house party attended by an unknown number of people.

The sheriff’s department was dispatched to the house party in the 14700 block of Sunset Drive early Sunday for the reports of a shooting with two injured parties.

Zaragoza was pronounced deceased at the scene. A female juvenile had also been shot and was taken by air ambulance to a hospital for treatment of a non-life-threatening wound, according to the sheriff’s department.

A motive for the shooting is currently unknown.

The investigation led to Williams being identified as a suspect. On Wednesday, with the assistance of the Turlock Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics team and the Special Investigations Unit, the sheriff’s department took Williams into custody at an apartment in the 1300 block of N. Denair Avenue.

Williams was booked into the Merced County Jail on a charge of murder and remains in custody in lieu of a $1 million bail.

Zaragoza was a recent graduate of phlebotomy school. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help her family with expenses at:

This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact the department’s Investigations Bureau at (209) 385-7472. Tips can remain anonymous.