Valley teen missing & believed to be in danger

FRESNO, Calif.

Police say he and his friends were trying to steal marijuana from a grow site near the intersection of Annadale and Willow avenues.

The sheriff's office says they have reason to believe that Sammy Mercado was either shot or wounded on Thursday morning. They're now trying to find the teenager and the three suspects who they say may have hurt him.

Neighbors - too afraid to appear on camera - say they have heard gunshots in the past from the marijuana grow where 16-year-old Sammy Mercado was last seen.

"I probably heard 30 shots back to back over there at one time. I never know who is around who is lurking around."

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office says the teenager and two friends drove to the farm at about 7:30 Thursday morning.

Lt. Robert Salazar said, "They had gone there with the intent of stealing marijuana."

When they arrived, investigators say only Mercado got out of the car and walked towards the field.

Lt. Robert Salazar said, "Two Asian males exits the hut that's about 80 yards away and one Asian man starts to fire upon the car and Mr. Mercado."

Detectives say his two friends - still in the car away got away but came back to search for the teen. That's when they saw an older white four-door Camry pull up driven by an older Asian man.

Lt. Robert Salazar told Action News, "The trunk of the vehicle was opened but we are not sure if Sammy was put in the trunk of the car or not."

There is evidence indicating Sammy was either shot or wounded - according to detectives. The sheriff's office has not concluded whether the grow is in compliance with county laws.

Investigators are now in the process of interviewing the two others who were with Sammy on the last the day he was seen.

If you have any information about the case, call the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.

Mercado is 16-years-old, has brown hair and brown eyes, he was last seen on Thursday, April 12th.

If you have any information on where he might be, please call the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.

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