1 of 2 men found murdered at marijuana grow ID'd

July 18, 2011 1:34:24 PM PDT
The Napa County Sheriff's Office has identified one of two men found murdered at a marijuana grow near Rutherford earlier this month and has named a person of interest in the slayings.

Dental records have helped the coroner's office identify one of the victims as 43-year-old Wilfredo Ronaldo Rivas-Velazquez, of Santa Rosa, Capt. Tracey Stuart said.

DNA tests will help confirm the second victim's identity, Stuart said.

The victims were both natives of El Salvador, Detective Chris Carlisle said Monday morning.

They were found dead July 1 at a marijuana grow containing 3,000 immature plants around two feet tall in the hills west of Rutherford. Narcotics agents uprooted the plants and removed them on July 6.

Investigators believe the slayings occurred the week of June 21. The manner of death has not been disclosed.

Carlos Perez, 21, is considered a person of interest in the case, according to the sheriff's office. He is believed to live in the Santa Rosa area.

Perez is believed to have walked from the Rutherford area to Napa between June 21 at 9 p.m. and June 22 at 8 a.m., and may have boarded a bus to Vallejo, sheriff's officials said.

He described as 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall and weighs about 235 pounds, with short, dark hair and a large stomach. He has light skin, which is often flushed bright red, and has a five-inch scar in the area of his right ankle.

He was last seen wearing dirty clothes and a khaki coat, with either blue shorts or long pants.

Anyone who might have seen Perez walking, given him a ride or had other contact with him is advised to call Carlisle at (707) 253-6030.

The sheriff's office arrested Carlos Guerrero, 45, of Boonville in Mendocino County on July 7 in connection with the marijuana-growing operation. He is not suspected in the murders.

Guerrero was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, cultivation of marijuana, possession of firearms, and being a felon in possession of firearms.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

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