Mendota murder suspect arrested, identified

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno County Sheriff's homicide detectives are investigating a deadly stabbing.

It was just after 6 p.m. on Saturday. Mendota police were called to Holmes and Sorenson where they found 35-year-old John Rangel unresponsive.

The Fresno County Sheriff's office took over the case and crime scene investigators and homicide detectives began looking for evidence.

Less than an hour later an anonymous tip came in with the suspect's location.

"When the Fresno County Sheriffs Office comes to town to investigate a homicide people notice especially when it's earlier in the day," said Lt. Brandon Pursell. "This call came out it was 6:15 pm and it wasn't too long when people were calling giving anonymous tips regarding where the suspect was."

By 8:45 p.m., homicide detectives arrested 37-year-old Rafael Rivas less than two miles away at Lolita and 6th.

"The suspect was known to the victim... this was a very targeted crime," Pursell said.

Public record shows Rivas was on a revoked probation from a 2017 domestic violence case.

Investigators are still asking for witnesses to come forward as the investigation is ongoing.

Rivas is being held at the Fresno County Jail on a felony murder charge.
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