Crime

Body found in Hanford is that of missing man, police say

A body found in Hanford on Saturday morning is that of a man missing since New Year’s Eve, according to Hanford police Captain Pat Crowe.

The body of Salvador Valdovinos was found just southeast of the city, on Hanford-Armona Road and Ninth Avenue, around 4 a.m., Crowe said.

Crowe declined to identify any suspects, although police have said at least two people are in custody.

Two men were booked Friday afternoon at the Kings County Jail on homicide charges, according to the Kings County inmate locator. The men are identified as Joe Trejo, 36, and John Reyna, 41. Both are accused of murder, and Trejo of removing human remains and intimidating a witness. Both are accused of being in a gang, according to the website.

Salvador Valdovinos’s family and friends last heard from him at 9:53 p.m. New Year’s Eve when he posted a photo to Facebook, according to Ruben Valdovinos, who identified himself on Facebook as the victim’s older brother.

Crowe confirmed that Valdovinos was reported missing on Tuesday, after not returning home from a party in Hanford.

In a Facebook post dated Jan. 4, Ruben Valdovinos said that minutes before posting the picture of himself and a group of men, his brother “called a very close friend and asked to be picked up from the house where he took that picture. That person close to Sal arrived before 10 p.m. and was approached outside the house by a discreet individual who then said to the person picking up Sal that they did not know a person by the name of Sal and it was best that person close to Sal leave that house immediately.”

Salvador Valdovinos’s car was parked outside the house as the friend was told to leave, his brother said.

“That person who came to pick up Sal drove off confused trying to call Sal on his cell phone but there was no response,” Ruben Valdovinos’s post continued. “A short time after, his vehicle was no longer at that house and his phone was turned off. Sal has not been seen or heard of since then. On 1/2/19 his SUV was found abandoned in a mobile home park across the Hanford Flea Market.”

Ruben Valdivinos said in another Facebook post on Saturday that his brother’s body had been found Saturday.

“My family now can mourn and give my little brother a proper burial,” the post read. “Please, give my parents, my siblings, and especially Sal’s kids time to mourn. This is a very difficult time for our family so PLEASE no phone calls or visits asking about details! We love you little brother and we will miss you so much!”

Ashleigh Panoo: 559-441-6010, @AshleighPan


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