“Fresno County Murder Victim Identified 30 Years Later”

DNA evidence has identified a suspect in a 30-year-old murder case in Fresno County, California. The body of a woman, identified as Bernice Wright, was found shot and stabbed in a vineyard in 1993. The suspect, Manuel Aguilar Mendoza, has been linked to the crime through a DNA hit in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database. Mendoza is described as a Hispanic man with various aliases and is known to travel between Mexico and the USA. The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office is seeking information on his whereabouts. ABC30 Fresno reported

Marc Anthony Lopez Image
Friday, August 4, 2023 6:31PM

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) — Fresno County Sheriff’s Deputies have announced that DNA analysis has successfully identified a potential suspect in a 30-year-old murder case.

In October 1993, detectives from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office responded to a crime scene in a vineyard located near Orange and Manning Avenues in Fresno County.

Upon arrival, law enforcement discovered the lifeless body of an unclothed woman who had been subjected to both gunshot and stab wounds.

The victim was later identified as Bernice Wright, also known as “Vi,” a 31-year-old resident of Fresno.

Recently, in 2021, the case was re-examined, and a significant breakthrough occurred when a DNA match was found in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database.

The suspect responsible for the crime has been identified as Manuel Aguilar Mendoza, who is currently 49 years old.

Mendoza is also known by several aliases, including Miguel Mendoza, Miguel Barragan, Aguilar, Manuel Purvandro Acosta, Miguel Costa, and Manuel Barragan.

Described as a Hispanic male with black hair and brown eyes, Mendoza stands at a height of 5’10” and weighs approximately 150 pounds.

He is known to frequently travel between Mexico and the USA.

If anyone possesses information regarding the whereabouts of Manuel Aguilar Mendoza, please contact the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers. Valuable tipsters may qualify for a monetary reward.

For the latest updates on this developing story, stay tuned to ABC30.

Copyright © 2023 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.

In a recent announcement by the Fresno County Sheriff’s Deputies, it has been revealed that advanced DNA analysis techniques have successfully identified a potential suspect in a long-standing murder case that occurred three decades ago. This breakthrough has brought new hope to the investigation.

Taking us back to October 1993, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office responded to a distressing crime scene situated in a vineyard near Orange and Manning Avenues in Fresno County. Tragically, the lifeless body of a woman, devoid of any clothing, was discovered by law enforcement. The victim, later identified as Bernice Wright, also known as “Vi,” was a 31-year-old resident of Fresno.

After careful re-examination of the case in 2021, a significant breakthrough emerged when a DNA match was found in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database. This DNA evidence led investigators to identify Manuel Aguilar Mendoza as the prime suspect in the murder. Mendoza, who is currently 49 years old, is also associated with various aliases including Miguel Mendoza, Miguel Barragan, Aguilar, Manuel Purvandro Acosta, Miguel Costa, and Manuel Barragan.

Described as a Hispanic man with black hair and brown eyes, Mendoza stands at a height of 5’10” and weighs approximately 150 pounds. It is important to note that he is known to travel frequently between Mexico and the USA.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office and Crime Stoppers are urging anyone with knowledge about the whereabouts of Manuel Aguilar Mendoza to come forward and provide information. Valuable tipsters may be eligible for a monetary reward.

For the latest updates on this developing story, stay tuned to ABC30, your trusted news source.

(Copyright © 2023 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.).