A woman was killed Monday afternoon in Winton, the apparent victim of a stabbing, the Sun-Star has confirmed.
Deputies were called just before 2:40 p.m. to California Street, just north of Walnut Avenue, where they found one adult victim.
Sheriff Vern Warnke confirmed the victim has been pronounced dead, marking the first homicide of the year in the sheriff’s jurisdiction.
No arrests have been made.
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Warnke said the victim, an adult woman, was killed. Investigators believe she was stabbed, but said they have not confirmed the cause of death. Investigators are looking for a man, whose name has not been released. The man and woman involved in Monday’s violence lived together with a 5-year-old child. Warnke said the child was in the apartment when the violence occurred.
It was not immediately clear whether the man and woman were married.
The victim’s name will not be released until the family has been notified of the death by law enforcement.
A description of the suspect was not immediately available.
Warnke told the Sun-Star investigators believe the homicide may be tied to a domestic violence issue and said they do not suspect any gang connections, “at this time.” He stressed that the investigation still is in its early stages and things could change.
The sheriff said it was too early to release any further details regarding the victim or the suspect.
It is the fourth homicide of 2017 in Merced County and the first to fall within the sheriff’s jurisdiction. Homicides have been reported in Merced, Dos Palos and Los Banos.
A total of nine homicides were reported countywide in 2016, marking the lowest number of violent death investigations since 2001. Last year’s homicide numbers were a significant departure from the three years prior to 2016, each of which recorded 30 or homicides.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Merced County Sheriff’s Office at 209-385-7445.