Juan Manuel Gonzalez booking photo
HOLLISTER — After an investigation that went cold and spent over a decade in limbo, police have finally announced the arrest of 35-year-old Juan Manuel Gonzalez for the 2002 murder of Jesus Sandoval.
It all began on the morning of September 8th, 2002, at around 9:40 AM, when officers arrived at the Hillcrest Carwash after reports of an altercation. There, they found Sandoval unconscious from what appeared to be massive head trauma.
Medical personnel attempted treatment on scene, but Sandoval fell into a coma. Unfortunately, he passed away while being airlifted to a trauma center.
Investigators determined that the suspect, so far described only as a Hispanic male, had stricken Sandoval over the head with an unknown object and fled the scene. Local police commissioned a sketch and posted it to the “Most Wanted” section of their website, however no leads provided enough information to warrant an arrest.
Then, this fall, police reopened the case after advancements in technology allowed them to take a fresh approach. Witnesses were re-interviewed, and it was at long last that enough leads were developed to positively identify Gonzales as a suspect.
Gonzales was interviewed at the station, then arrested and booked into San Benito County Jail on the murder charge. His bail has been set at $1,000,000.