Fresno's 35th homicide has police taking closer look at domestic violence rates in city

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- An increase in homicide rates within the city of Fresno has police calling on the community.

"If you know where any domestic violence persons are wanted, we want you to call right away. If you are a victim of domestic violence, we want you to call right away," said Fresno Police Lt. Mark Hudson.

The city of Fresno has now had 35 homicides in 2019, compared to 30 this time last year.

"Four homicides were domestic violence, two of them, the recent ones, were murder-suicides, where the husbands killed the wife," Hudson said.

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The most recent was Saturday evening when 56-year-old Guadalupe Rivera Guzman was found in her home with severe trauma to her body.

Her son, 40-year-old Gilbert Tiznado was arrested in connection to her death.

Fresno Police have seen an almost 10% increase in domestic violence-related calls.

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"Anything from a restraining order arrest, or a domestic violence call where someone's taken to jail for assault," Hudson said.

Marjaree Mason Center executive director Nicole Linder says they are also seeing the increase, with 340 new adults and children admitted into their safe house program.

"Over the last three months our hotline calls have increased 38% over the same time last year and our crisis drop-ins are up over 50%," Linder said.

But that increase also means more people are speaking up.

"Sometimes violence victims have hidden in the shadows for centuries, and the fact that they've been brave enough to call and seek support and safety for their families to us that's a good thing," she said.

If you are the victim of domestic abuse, or you know someone who is, there is help available 24/7. In Fresno County, call the Marjaree Mason Center at (559) 233-4357. In all other locations, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 7997233.
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