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On Tuesday, July 13, 1982, at about 5:20 a.m., Abel Garza Sr. (26 years old at the time) called the Kerman Police Department (not using 911) to report a residential burglary at 583 S. 8th Street in Kerman.

Abel made no mention on the phone of his 24 year old wife (Irene Garza) being deceased in the back yard.  Once officers arrived on scene, Abel informed them he had found Irene on the ground, but did not check for her signs of life.  Officers and EMS checked Irene and found that she was cold to the touch.  She was pronounced deceased.

An autopsy was performed on Irene and it was concluded the decedent was murdered.

The house was checked and there was no evidence of forced entry or a burglary. Additionally, Irene’s purse was found on the floor and the contents were spread around, but there was no evidence that anything was missing from the residence or purse, which contained cash.  Garza told officers he was asleep and claimed he did not hear any sort of disturbance during the night.  His three small children (under the age of five years old at the time) also remained asleep throughout the night.

The investigators eventually focused on Garza as being responsible for Irene’s death, but Garza denied any involvement.  Investigators were unable to develop evidence or information to prove otherwise. The investigators exhausted all their leads and the case went cold in 1982.

Fresno County Sheriff’s detectives are asking for the community’s help to develop new leads that may help solve this case.   Please contact Detective Sergio Toscano at 559-600-8027 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  You may also submit your anonymous tips to Valley Crime Stoppers at 559-498-7867 or www.valleycrimestoppers.org

 

 

Contact Information

Tony Botti
Public Information Officer
(559) 600-8137
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