Crime

Fresno community rallies to raise reward money in hopes of finding 17-year-old’s killer

Watch Fresno community rally to raise reward money to help find a killer

Adalberto “Cuate” Ocampo was gunned down on Jan. 7 and the Fresno Police Department is said to not have any leads. The loved ones of Ocampo held a fundraiser on Sept. 9, 2018 to raise reward money to entice someone to come forward with information.
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Adalberto “Cuate” Ocampo was gunned down on Jan. 7 and the Fresno Police Department is said to not have any leads. The loved ones of Ocampo held a fundraiser on Sept. 9, 2018 to raise reward money to entice someone to come forward with information.

It’s been nine months since 17-year-old Adalberto “Cuate” Ocampo was shot and killed on a west Fresno street corner and no arrests have been made in the case.

Family members say they want justice and went to work Sunday to raise reward money for information in the unsolved slaying.

Ocampo was gunned down while walking a friend home on the corner of California and Elm avenues the night of Jan. 7.

Supporters on Sunday gathered to wash cars, sell food and collect money in jars on Maple Avenue and Kings Canyon Road — all in an effort to raise reward funds. Raising reward money wasn’t the group’s only mission.

Victim Adalberto Ocampo
Fresno police released this photo of Adalberto “Cuate” Ocampo, 17, who was shot and killed on Jan. 7 at California and Elm avenues. Fresno Police Department

Supporters also challenged the Fresno Police Department to make progress in the case. A sign was posted saying the city’s police force “treats victims poorly.” Another sign addressed Police Chief Jerry Dyer, asking “what about Cuate?”

Gloria Hernandez, a Fresno Stolen Lives volunteer and community advocate, was asked by Ocampo’s mother to help out and to work with law enforcement.

“Within a month, they claimed it was a cold case,” Hernandez says. “I started getting concerned because, doing the research, I found that there’s a lot of cold cases when it comes to people of color.”

She took it upon herself to organize fundraisers along with Ocampo’s mother, Adriana Bonilla, 38.

The fundraisers, Bonilla said, are a way for her to help find the person who killed her son.

“I’m thinking positive — if it’s gonna be a big reward, (there’s) going to be someone talking,” she said.

Bonilla says she wants to raise $50,000. She hopes the money will motivate someone to come forward with information that will help investigators.

Enchiladas, cheesecake, tamales, car washes, yard sales are other fundraising efforts being made to reach the goal. She’s also put up signs around east and west Fresno asking anyone with information to come forward, even anonymously.

Bonilla says she and her six other children are suffering every day as they deal with a reality without “Cuate.” He was a twin to his now 18-year-old sister.

His other sibling’s ages range from 1 to 22 years old.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer in March attended a gathering with Ocampo’s family. While expressing empathy for the grieving family, Dyer also pushed back against the idea that his department doesn’t solve crimes involving people of color.

“The reality is it doesn’t matter to our detectives the race of a victim,” Dyer said. “We want to solve that homicide or shooting as quickly as we possibly can.”

On March 9, Fresno police released photos of three men who appeared to know who was in the suspect vehicle.

Dyer on Sunday said investigators have not given up on finding Ocampo’s killer and will do everything in their power to bring justice to the family.

Bonilla says she has not met with or spoke with Dyer about her son’s shooting, and that she may not be ready to.

“I want to request a meeting with him,” Bonilla said while fighting back tears “But every time I see him, I just break down.”

Jessica Johnson: 559-441-6051, @iamjesslj
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