Merced homicide victim's father-in-law speaks out; investigation still underway

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- Bill Drysdale is remembering the last few words he shared with his son-in-law, Jeff Bergeron.

"My last words were I love you too. That's about two weeks ago. Everybody's going to miss him," he said.

Police have yet to confirm, but both Drysdale and friends say Bergeron was the victim in Friday's homicide in Merced.

"I hoped it was a nightmare. A bad dream of some kind and I'd wake up," Drysdale said.

Investigators say the call came in when a co-worker went to check on Bergeron after he didn't show up for work.

Officers were then called to conduct a welfare check at his home on Bixby way after the coworker noticed his front door was open.

They found him dead in his room and say, based on the injuries, they're investigating the case as a homicide.

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"They're talking to several witnesses that knew the victim. Also, various residents throughout the area that may or may not have heard anything," said Lt. Jay Struble.

Bergeron's Chevy truck, which was missing from the scene, was found early Saturday morning unoccupied.

It's now bring processed and searched for evidence, meanwhile, police are asking neighbors to check their surveillance cameras.

"What ever cameras you have , if you have footage from that night, we'd like you to call us, because you never know what it might've picked up . it could give us the slightest info that opens additional leads for us," said Lt. Struble.

This case comes just hours after Merced Police were investigating another homicide along Tucolay Court, and later arrested a suspect named James Martin in connection with the shooting.

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Police don't believe the two cases are related.

One resident says because of the crime, he didn't want to show his face, but says Bergeron was a everyone's friend, and was always smiling.

"It's just really sad what happened to him. I'm sad. I'm really going to miss seeing him everyday," the neighbor said.

Bergeron was a ranch manager at castle farms, and co-workers considered him both a boss and father.

Drysdale says he considered Bergeron a son, and says he was a hard worker and a smart man , which are both genes that he passed down to his young daughter.

"They're two peas in a pod. That's what's really tough. He would do anything for anybody. That kind of guy," Drysdale said.

Police say they have some leads, but no suspects yet. There haven't been any arrests.

They ask anyone who may have seen or heard something, to please call them and help them.
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