Suspect in grape grower’s killing found dead in California
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say a man who had faced a murder charge in the killing of a California grape grower has been found dead along a highway north of Bakersfield.
Kern County coroner’s officials said Tuesday that Mariano Perez suffered “traumatic injuries.”
KBAK-TV reports the 24-year-old’s death is being investigated as a homicide.
Perez was charged in the killing of 84-year-old Jakov Dulcich. His murder trial ended in a hung jury, and prosecutors dismissed the case in November pending further investigation.
Court documents show Perez had admitted to being a gang member but denied involvement in the murder.
Dulcich was known for his company’s Pretty Lady brand of grapes.