Fresno murder suspect's former pastors say he struggled with substance abuse

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Men's pastor David Olivares says 40-year-old Gilbert Tiznado was dealing with addiction before police say he killed his mother in their east central Fresno home Saturday afternoon.

"Meth will take someone into addiction. If you have never done drugs you will never understand. It will control your life, it will take from your family, it will take you to a low that you have never been before," Olivares said.

"I talked to my pastor, Pastor Joe and he said that he had talked to Gilbert not too long ago and he was hearing voices," said men's pastor Robert Schultz.

According to detectives, the victim, 56-year-old Guadalupe Rivera Guzman, suffered from severe trauma to her body.

Tiznado was arrested shortly after and booked into the Fresno County Jail.

"The first thing that crossed my mind was, his family and then his state of mind and where he was at mentally," Olivares said.

Olivares along with Schultz helped Tiznado deal with his meth addiction. For the last five years, he would often visit the Restoring Freedom Ministry in Fresno, a program helping people struggling with addiction.

"Gilbert on the exterior had a lot of joy, but underneath there was a lot of darkness within him," Schultz said.

They hadn't seen Tiznado in months.

"We'd seen the times when he would slip back into his addiction and isolate himself and that is one of the worst things we can do when we get into addiction and slip," Olivares said.

Now their hearts go out to the family, devastated by the loss.

"My heart breaks for the entire family, they lost their mother, brother, a father," Schultz said.

They also hope that Tiznado will someday overcome his battle with addiction.

"A lot of the times people when they are behind bars they can truly become free and that is my prayer for him, that he will really come to the end of himself and he will experience the grace of God," Schultz said.

Tiznado is facing two felony charges including murder.

The ministers we spoke to urge anyone struggling with addiction to reach out for help by contacting the Restoring Freedom Ministry.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.