Detectives say 38-year-old Jesus Ortega stabbed his 36-year-old girlfriend in front of her two daughters. Her 48-year-old brother was also stabbed when he tried to intervene.
During their investigation, deputies discovered evidence of a drug lab at the scene. Task force agents removed several items from the house while detectives served three search warrants to try to find Ortega.
One neighbor who didn't want to be identified says the crime has left her in shock, She said, "For something like this to happen, to be stabbed and your little girls watching ... I'm just speechless, I'm devastated."
Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin said, "We've got to get this guy behind bars, he is on the run, and I'm sure he knows we are looking for him."
The female victim suffered life-threatening wounds and is now in critical condition. Her brother has been treated and released.