The marijuana is on private property owned by a family that formerly ran a farm labor contracting business. They told Action News four or five permit holders grow marijuana on the property for personal use. They said they didn't know the victim personally, but investigators said he may have been assigned to care for the marijuana.
While the hidden grow surprised some neighbors, others said it was no secret. "When the wind's blowing in this direction, you can smell it. So I knew they were growing it," said neighbor Lupe Salcedo. Salcedo grows stone fruit in the orchards surrounding the grow and said he's been concerned about the possibility of something like this happening.
Investigators said there are hundreds of grows in rural Tulare County and acts of violence around them are becoming more and more prevalent.