State

Coroner seeks kin of Modesto home invasion victim

Stanislaus county coroner officials on Friday were looking for the family of a 32-year-old man who was shot and killed during an apparent home invasion robbery early Wednesday in Modesto's airport neighborhood.

Officers found Julio Jimenez with multiple gunshot wounds in the home's back yard in the 600 block of Thrasher Avenue, between Oregon Drive and Larkin Avenue. Jimenez was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Authorities had not found Jimenez's relatives or his current home address. Coroner officials said he has a tattoo of "Michoacán," a state in Mexico, across his shoulders.

A second victim was pistol-whipped during the attack and suffered minor injuries. Police did not release his name or age to protect his safety.

Detectives did not release any further details about what might have led to the shooting, fearing it would harm the investigation.

Five people were taken into custody after a cross-town pursuit that ended in the Parklawn Avenue area of south Modesto, said officer Scott Nelson, a Modesto police spokesman.

Nelson said the suspects were later arrested on suspicion of murder and home invasion robbery with enhancements to their charges on suspicion of participating in a felony crime for the benefit of a street gang.

Those arrested were Hector Rocha Jr., 20, of Ceres, Aquiles Virgen, 20, of Waterford, Domingo Becerra, 22, of Modesto and two 16-year-old boys. Police did not release the names of the teenage boys because they are minors.

About 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, Modesto police officers responded to a report of people arguing and yelling in front of the Thrasher Avenue home.

Officers heading to the home spotted a car matching a description of a vehicle involved in the incident, Nelson said.

The vehicle pursuit ensued and ended in the 800 block of Parklawn Avenue.

Nelson said the suspects ran from the car, but were rounded up by officers within 30 minutes.

Family members of Julio Jimenez are asked to call the Stanislaus County coroner's office at 567-4500.

Police ask anyone who saw suspicious people or vehicles in the area around the time of the shooting to call Crime Stoppers at 521-4636. Tipsters also can e-mail tips through the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.modestopolice.com/

CrimeStoppers, or text tips to CRIMES (274637) by typing "Tip704" plus a message. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and are eligible for a cash reward.

Bee staff writer Merrill Balassone contributed to this report.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at rahumada@modbee.com or 578-2394.

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