Family begs for answers after grandfather is found shot dead in orchard near Reedley

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- For Ricardo Garcia, the family ranch near Reedley was always a place of good memories.

"This is our family getaway place, we can't vacation anywhere we'd come here, good memories here," he said.

But now, it's a place of mourning too. Garcia's grandfather Andres Cardenas was out working in the family orchard near Alta and Springfield Saturday afternoon, pulling weeds like he often did, when he stopped answering his phone.

"Just shock, something you'd never imagine," Garcia said.

The 75-year-old was found dead with a gunshot wound underneath a plum tree, discovered by his son after he couldn't be reached for hours Saturday afternoon.

Garcia lives in Arkansas now and came back after hearing the news. He says he was working with his grandfather in those same trees the last time he saw him alive.

"I was helping him out here doing the exact same thing, and I was having trouble keeping up. He enjoyed doing; he liked being out here on the ranch," Garcia said.

He says Cardenas, a father of ten with more than twenty grandchildren, had friends all around the community. Born in Mexico, he moved to America when he was about 40 years old and had been farming ever since.

"(He was) just a good man, hardworking man, someone liked by everyone he met," the victim's grandson said.

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office has no suspect information and is looking for anyone who may have wanted to hurt Cardenas.

"Anybody that knew Andres Cardenas personally, if you can think of any reason someone would want to hurt him, please let us know," said Fresno County Sheriff's spokesperson Tony Botti. "A lot of times there's personal things about people that even family doesn't know, and if you have that information, we'd love to hear about it."

And as his grandson spoke next to the last tree his grandfather cared for, he said this wouldn't define their family, and this place will always be special.

"He loved this place, we think his spirit is going to keep on living here," Garcia said.
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