On May 11, 2019 at around 6:15 pm, the Mendota Police Department responded to the 200 Block of Holmes Street regarding a medical aid for a man who was not breathing.

Upon arrival, the man was determined to be deceased.  Injuries observed on the victim showed he had been stabbed.  The suspect had fled the home prior to Mendota Police arriving.  

The Mendota Police Department requested that the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office take over the investigation. Homicide detectives and the Crime Scene Unit responded to Mendota.  The Mendota Police Department received information from an anonymous citizen that the suspect was seen near Lolita and 6th Street in Mendota.  Mendota Police and sheriff deputies then responded to the area, found the suspect (Rafael Rivas) and arrested him.  

Both the suspect, 37 year old Rafael Rivas, and the victim, 35 year old John Rangel, were living at the residence on Holmes Street.  A motive for the murder remains under investigation.

Anyone with additional information on this case is asked to contact Detective Jose Mora at (559) 600-8205, Sheriff’s Dispatch at (559) 600-3111 or Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-7867. You will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.


Rafael Rivas

Contact Information

Tony Botti
Public Information Officer
(559) 600-8137
(559) 977-0379
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