4th arrest made in murder of Kerman farmer; investigation continues

A fourth person has been arrested in the murder of a Kerman farmer. George Salwasser was gunned down last Thursday.
May 12, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
A fourth person has been arrested in the murder of a Kerman farmer. George Salwasser, 38, was gunned down last Thursday. Fresno County Sheriff's deputies say he was killed by the car thieves he confronted on his property.

All four suspects were charged with murder and second-degree burglary late Monday. Now, deputies are working to track down the gun, and that's become a very tedious process.

Homicide investigators picked through a day's worth of recyclables at Mid Valley Disposal for five hours on Monday and three hours on Saturday, looking for any evidence in the murder of Salwasser. Deputies also collected surveillance video at at least two mini marts where the suspects may have stopped and ditched the gun in one of the recycling bins. Sheriff's officials say there's still plenty to investigate in the callous murder.

"There's a lot of things to clean up, a lot of people to interview still and the detectives have been working it straight through," said Deputy Chris Curtice with the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators say Fabian Mansanalez didn't make it far after he returned to Fresno from the Kerman murder scene. MAGEC officers found him in Calwa, just where they thought he would be most comfortable. Jose Canas was also arrested in Biola.

On Monday, no sign of the murder remained at the Howard Avenue property where Salwasser was gunned down. Deputies say the homicide is a sad reminder of the brazen move some suspects will make when they are confronted while committing a crime. Detectives say Salwasser was in the process of calling 911 when he pulled up to find the gang members stripping a stolen truck.

"If something looks suspicious out there, don't take it into your own hands, you never know what is going to happen. Call the sheriff's office, call the police department. That's what we get paid for, that's what we are trained to do. And not that he did anything wrong, I think I probably would have done the same thing had it been my property," said Curtice.

The victim's devastated family members aren't ready to talk about what happened or the lasting effect it will have on their lives.

One witness who helped deputies track down the suspect said the victim was a great neighbor who gave him some puppies a while back.

Investigators say they know who the shooter was, but they are not revealing that right now. Several of the suspects who are in jail for this crime are being held without bail.


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