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Murder on Golden Pond
Mantecas 6th homicide so far in 2011
A womans death in the 800 block of Golden Pond Drive is being investigated as a homicide. - photo by RYAN BALBUENA

Manteca Police say a 50-year-old woman is a murder victim after her body was discovered Monday night in her Golden Pond Drive home in the Union Ranch East neighborhood.

Police found the victim shortly after 6:30 p.m. in her single story home that is on a street with a number of homes currently under construction by Woodside Homes. The Union Ranch East neighborhood is immediately east of Del Webb at Woodbridge and is northeast of the intersection of Lathrop and Union roads.

Detective Sergeant Tony Souza said officers responded to a 911 request from a family member to make a welfare check on the woman living in the 800 block of Golden Pond.  When officers arrived on the scene they found what has been labeled a suspicious death in a single story home. Souza said it is being investigated as a homicide.

Detectives were called immediately.  An on-call judge was contacted for a search warrant to allow officers to enter the home and search for evidence in the woman’s death.

The search warrant was served at about 9:30 p.m. at the same time investigators were talking with relatives. Police were mum about any of the details, saying more information would be available on today.

They couldn’t release further details Monday night as to where the woman was found inside the home or how she was killed and with what type of weapon.  Officers said releasing that information would hamper their investigation.

The California State Department of Justice (DOJ) investigative team was called out to assist in securing and processing evidence in the home, the detective said.

Crime scene analysts are expected to be at the residence until about 4 a.m., police said.  At that point the San Joaquin County Coroner will be dispatched to the Golden Pond location.

Other homicide cases so far this year within Manteca’s city limits include:

• Drake Benton, 24, who was stabbed to death on Oct. 15 on Sherman Avenue near Moffat Boulevard. A suspect has been arrested.

• A Ceres’ woman’s death was classified as murder on Sept. 3. Suspect Brett Andrew Phares, 28, was fleeing police by running across Highway 99 at Yosemite Avenue when he caused traffic to come to a stop. He allegedly caused the death of the Ceres woman riding on the back of her husband’s motorcycle that crashed when traffic backed up. The suspect has been arrested.

• Dean Ponsiano, 46, died after an incident on Aug. 27 when his future son-in-law Jorge M. Fernandez of Tracy, allegedly struck him in front of his Woodward Park area home following a children’s birthday party.  The victim reportedly hit his head in the street causing major head trauma.  He died in a Modesto hospital several days later. Fernandez has been charged with murder.

• Tony Duenas, 31, was gunned down outside of his home across from Baccilieri Park just south of downtown on Aug. 19. No suspects have been arrested.

• Ernest Manuel Duenez Jr., 24, was killed in an officer- involved shooting on June 8 on Flores Avenue. The San Joaquin District Attorney’s office has yet to rule on that shooting as being justified or not due to a back log of officer-involved shootings in the county.