Detectives: Couple had domestic issues prior to murder near Atwater

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Merced County detectives say Crisanto Perez-Bedolla, 60, killed his estranged wife this weekend. (KFSN)

New details have been released about the murder of a 63-year-old woman in the North Valley. Merced County detectives say Crisanto Perez-Bedolla, 60, killed his estranged wife this weekend. Investigators say Bedolla shot his wife in front of their adult children and other relatives at a barbecue Saturday night. They say it was a tragic ending to a tumultuous separation.

Deputies arrived to a devastating scene at a home near Atwater Saturday night. They say Bedolla showed up uninvited to a family barbecue and shot his wife multiple times. Paramedics rushed Lucia Medrano Zarco, 63, to Mercy Medical Center, where she died a short time later.

"Sadly, there was a substantial amount of family members, and also the common kids of Bedolla and Zarco that witnessed this incident," said Sgt. Delray Shelton with the Merced County Sheriff's Office.

Some of those relatives helped restrain Bedolla after the shooting. He was arrested and booked into jail on murder charges hours later.

Shelton says the suspect does not appear to have a criminal history, but the couple did have ongoing domestic issues. "They had been separated for approximately two years in an estranged relationship," he said.

Action News returned to the home Monday morning, but relatives did not want to comment about the case. Detectives say Bedolla is cooperating with the investigation. They're not releasing details about exactly what led up to the murder, but say it's a senseless end to a troubled relationship.

"These domestic violence cases are some of the worst cases to deal with. Love is involved, emotions are involved, children are involved, and people just don't act and think sanely when they're in the heat of the moment," said Shelton.

Bedolla is being held without bail, and prosecutors have until Wednesday to file charges.
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crimetrackercrimeshootingmurderhomicidehomicide investigationdomestic violencearrestMerced CountyAtwater
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