Parlier family asks for help to solve loved one's murder, photo of suspect vehicle released

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office says Mendoza was a field worker on his way to the job when he and another coworker were shot.

Jessica Harrington Image
Thursday, May 4, 2023
Family of Parlier man shot and killed in 2021 still searching for answers
The family of a Parlier man who was murdered nearly two years ago is hoping the public can help find his killer.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Parlier family is asking for help in tracking down the person who killed their loved one.

Now the sheriff's office is releasing new evidence in hopes of finding the shooter. Yolanda Mendoza says her brother Silvano Mendoza was always the first one up to sing or dance. "He was the life of the party. He was outgoing," Yolanda Mendoza said.

The 52-year-old father of five and grandfather of 10 was an agricultural worker who shared a birthday with his oldest daughter Almira Mendoza.

This is one of the last pictures the two took together as they celebrated their birthdays in February of 2021. "It was the first time my dad had ever given me flowers," Almira Mendoza said.

It was that picture that doctors used to help identify his body on June 13, 2021.

Around 4:30 in the morning, Silvano Mendoza was headed to work.

He never worked Sundays, but was working that day to earn extra money.

He also never rode in anyone else's car, but that day he did.

While they were picking up another worker on 9th Street in Parlier, someone started shooting.

Silvano and another man were both rushed to the hospital, but Silvano did not survive.

Investigators believe Silvano was a victim of mistaken identity.

"He wasn't a gang member. He wasn't involved in the narcotics trade, never been arrested before, never got in trouble," said Fresno County Sheriff's Office Detective Jose Diaz.

The shooter is still out there but investigators hope this newly released picture of the suspect's vehicle will help track them down.

It's a 2009, 2-door, grey, Nissan Altima with a California license plate of 6JWW666.

Detectives say the vehicle left 9th Street toward Mendocino Avenue, but they don't know if it went toward town or away from it.

For nearly two years, Silvano's family has been waiting for answers. "How did this happen? Like he's a good person. He doesn't go look for trouble. He's a hard-working man. He cares for his family so much," said Wendy Zamora Silvano's niece.

They hope someone will have the heart to speak up.

"If you know something, please, for the love of God, say something. We need justice," Almira Mendoza said.

Investigators say if you see the suspect vehicle do not approach it, just call the sheriff's office.

If you have information, you can always remain anonymous by calling Valley Crime Stoppers at 498-7867.

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