Sand Ridge Road Homicide Update

On 02/03/15 at approximately 8:10 PM the Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence in the 3200 block of Sand Ridge Road in unincorporated Placerville. A male adult was located deceased in the residence, positively identified as 55 year-old Pete Thomas. Detectives and Crime Scene Investigators responded to the scene to investigate the circumstances of the death.

On 02/18/15 three arrests were made in connection to the Sand Ridge murder. In custody are 31 year-old Nalana Omega, 22 year-old Sureno gang member Raul Gonzalez, and 18 year-old Sureno gang member Roberto Barrera. Detectives arrested Omega and Gonzalez in a residence off Green Wing Lane in Placerville. Also arrested was the homeowner, 47 year-old Charles Hernandez on narcotics charges unrelated to the murder. Barrera was arrested at his place of employment in Placerville.
The victim, 55 year-old Pete Thomas was killed in his home sometime in the 48 hour period between January 31st and February 1st . The exact time has yet to be determined. The preliminary cause of death is a stab wound to the chest. Even though there are three people in custody for this homicide, the case is still under investigation. So far, seventeen warrants have been issued (a combination of search warrants and arrest warrants) and more are expected. The defendants are scheduled to be arraigned on 02/20/15 at 1:00 PM in El Dorado County Superior Court, Department 7.

Lt. Tom Murdoch

Booking photos are attached in the order of: Omega, Gonzalez, Barrera.


Gold Oak School – Shelter In Place

Today at about 1220 hrs, Gold Oak School in Pleasant Valley was asked to shelter in place by the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies were actively involved in locating 35 year-old Jesse King, a parolee, who ran from a near-by residence. King was tracked by a Sheriff’s K9 near the back of the school. School staff members reported seeing a person matching King’s description walking by the campus. There was no report of any student or staff member coming into contact with King and there was no known threat towards the school. The shelter in place was precautionary as the search continued. Sheriff’s deputies were on school grounds.

Jesse King is a white male adult, about 5’9” 145 with brown “shaggy” hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a blue and gray striped shirt, a gray vest, and jeans. Deputies were searching the area east of Chrome Ridge Road and Tya Lane travelling away from the school.

At 1305 hrs, King was located and taken into custody. The shelter in place was lifted. Jesse King was found about 1.25 miles east of the school.

Lt. Tom Murdoch

Man commits suicide at Brown’s Ravine Marina

On the morning of Tuesday, February 17th, as employees of the Brown’s Ravine Marina at Folsom Lake arrived for work, they observed an adult male subject sitting inside of a vehicle. The vehicle was parked on the boat ramp facing the water. Shortly after observing the vehicle, employees witnessed the vehicle speeding down the boat ramp and crashing into the water. Within seconds the vehicle floated out into deep water and sank. A marina employee attempted a rescue as emergency crews arrived on scene. Due to the dangerous underwater conditions and the length of time the vehicle had been submerged, the rescue attempt was called off. El Dorado County Sheriff’s Dive Team members responded to the scene and later recovered the vehicle. A deceased adult male was discovered inside of the vehicle. The incident is being investigated as an apparent suicide.

Search & Rescue – American River Canyon

On February 15, 2015, at approximately 11:00pm, a Pilot Hill resident contacted the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office to report lost hikers. The caller stated while taking out his trash, he was approached by a male unknown to him. The male reported that his girlfriend and dog was lost near the American River. Deputies responded and were unable to locate the couple and dog during their search of the area. Therefore, at approximately 2:30am, Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteers were called out to assist.
The couple’s vehicle was found at the Skunk Hollow parking lot near the Salmon Falls Bridge. At approximately 7:00am and hiking over rough terrain, SAR volunteers found the couple and dogs. All were found in good health approximately three and half miles up the American River Canyon east of the Salmon Falls Bridge. With the assistance of the SAR volunteers, the couple and the dogs were walked out to their vehicle.
According to the couple, they were day hiking on Sunday afternoon. After becoming lost on the trail, they went down to the American River and waited for help. Not having cell coverage, the male hiked out and found a homeowner who made the call for him. The male (in his 40’s) was from Roseville and the female (also in her 40’s) was from the Folsom area. The couple did not want to be identified or interviewed by members of the media.
Sheriff D’Agostini is grateful for the dedication and perseverance of the Search and Rescue volunteers. They are a great asset to the Sheriff’s Office and the community in which they serve.

By: Sgt. Chris Felton