By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Two arrested for May murder in Turlock

The Turlock Police Department has arrested two men suspected of fatally shooting an 18-year-old near a Turlock park in May.

Robert Omar Branche, 22, and Jose Carmona, 30, both of Modesto have been taken into custody and charged with the murder of Izrael Villegas, 18, of Turlock.

Around 1 a.m. May 20, 2020, the police department dispatched officers to the 4300 block of Cherry Blossom Lane after receiving reports of shots fired in the area.

The first officers arrived at the scene and found Villegas near Dale Pinkney Park with a fatal gunshot wound.

Detectives investigating the case suspect the homicide was drug-related, said Turlock Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Michael Parmley.

The investigation eventually led to identifying three suspects responsible for Villegas’ death. 

Branche was in custody at the Stanislaus County Jail on an unrelated charge and was interviewed by detectives on Tuesday. At the conclusion of the interview Branche was arrested on suspicion of murder and robbery.

On Wednesday, law enforcement spotted Carmona in Modesto and later made contact with him in Oakdale. He was arrested on a Ramey warrant and charged with murder and robbery.

“A third individual involved in this incident has been identified, however, has not been located,” Parmley said. “The identity of this person is not being released at this time, as this is an on- going investigation.”

Turlock Police Detectives ask that anyone with information to call Detective Frank Navarro at (209) 664-7319. You can also contact the Turlock Police Department’s Tip Line at (209) 668-5550 extension 6780 or email at

The Turlock Police Department is an active participant in the Crime Stoppers Program. Callers can leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 and may be eligible for a cash reward.