Crime

Death of father and son in California Valley ruled a murder-suicide

The father and son found shot to death in California Valley in January were killed in a murder-suicide, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office.

The autopsies for both men were scheduled for Jan. 31, and the Sheriff’s Office released their causes of death on Wednesday.

The coroner determined that Edward Chavez Mendoza, 70, died from a single gunshot wound to the chest. The manner of his death is listed as a homicide. His son, 37-year-old Edmundo Eduardo Mendoza Jr., died from a gunshot wound to the head. The manner of his death is listed as a suicide, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

On Jan. 29, authorities responded to a home in the 12000 block of Arrow Bear Trail, where they found both men dead of gunshot wounds. The two were California Valley residents, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The deaths marked the ninth time deputies had responded to the home since 2012, the Sheriff’s Office said. Four of the previous calls involved a person with a mental illness causing a disturbance and three of the calls resulted in a person at the home being taken into custody for a mental health evaluation, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies obtained a search warrant for the property and processed the site for evidence. As a result of the search, deputies seized four handguns, two shotguns and body armor. One of the handguns was reported stolen from the San Bernardino area, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The address was registered last year to Edward Mendoza as a marijuana grow operation of up to 280 plants, according to county records.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the residence was once one of the larger cannabis growers in California Valley with about 500 plants, but the owners had recently been scaling back their cannabis cultivation in response to the county’s cannabis ordinance, which took effect on Jan. 1 and banned cannabis cultivation in California Valley.

No further information was immediately available.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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