Sheriff’s homicide detectives say the man who was once charged with the murder of a Delano grape patriarch had been shot to death when his body was found on Monday. Sgt. David Hubbard says they’re trying to determine if 24-year-old Mariano Perez was killed on Hwy 155 near Wallace Road, of if the body was dumped there. “It’s being investigated as a homicide, we believe it is such. The body was located by uninvolved parties suffering from traumatic injuries.” Perez was an admitted gang member who was acquitted of murdering of 84-year-old Jakov Dulcich, a $30-thousand reward is still posted in the case. Anyone with information on either killing is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office or Secret Witness at 661-322-4040.

Suzanne Grant