The Merced County Sheriff's Department issued an arrest warrant Wednesday for Jason Curtis Reed, 35, the son of a Delhi man found shot to death Tuesday.
Detectives said Reed lived with his 67-year-old father, who was found dead at 8 a.m. by a relative. The victim, tentatively identified as J.D. Reed, was discovered in his bed at his home in the 9000 block of Sycamore Street.
The coroner's office conducted an autopsy Wed-nesday, checking the victim's fingerprints to verify his identity.
Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin said the victim had blood coming from his mouth and appeared to have been shot in the upper body.
"We don't know exactly what occurred, but ... we have a warrant of arrest out for the younger Reed," Pazin said. "We don't believe he's in Merced County any longer."
Authorities believe Reed may be in San Joaquin County or Sacramento County.
Detectives searched for Reed after his father's body was discovered Tuesday but weren't able to find him, despite assistance from other law enforcement agencies.
Deputy Tom MacKenzie, a sheriff's spokesman, said detectives worked until the early morning hours Wednesday trying to piece together what happened. Initially, detectives said they were looking for a "relative" of the victim who was a person of interest in the case. That person was later identified as Jason Reed.
The Sheriff's Department isn't disclosing the number of gunshot wounds the victim had, citing the ongoing investigation. Authorities also wouldn't reveal if a weapon was recovered inside the home.
The death has been ruled the first homicide of the year for Merced County.
The Sheriff's Department is asking for help in locating Jason Reed, but reminds the public not to approach him directly, as he is considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff's Department at (209) 385-7445. Tips are kept confidential and callers can remain anonymous.
Reporter Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.