Manuel Aguilar Mendoza (pictured at age 26)

In October 1993, Fresno County Sheriff’s detectives responded to begin a murder investigation in a vineyard near Orange and Manning Avenues in Fresno County.

The body of an unclothed woman was discovered. She had been shot and stabbed to death. She was identified as 31 year old Bernice Wright, aka “Vi” of Fresno.

In 2021, the case was reviewed and it revealed a DNA hit in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database. The individual was identified as Manuel Aguilar Mendoza, who is approximately 49 years old today. He has the following information on file: Birthdates of 8-20-73 and 2-20-75, along with several A.K.A.s of Miguel Mendoza, Miguel Barragan, Aguilar, Manuel Purvandro Acosta, Miguel Costa and Manuel Barragan. He is described as Hispanic, 5’10”, 150 lbs. with black hair and brown eyes. If anyone knows the whereabouts of this subject, he is wanted for questioning for the murder of Bernice Wright. He is known to travel to and from Mexico and the USA.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to please contact Cold Case Detective Sergio Toscano at (559) 600-8027 or Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-7867, www.valleycrimestoppers.org  You will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

Bernice Wright, aka “Vi”
Manuel Aguilar Mendoza (pictured at age 26)

Contact Information

Tony Botti
Public Information Officer
(559) 600-8137
Tony.Botti@fresnosheriff.org