Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Detectives are investigating the homicide of a 59-year-old man who was found dead in the front yard of a house in the 3700 block of Texas Avenue in Riverbank on Tuesday night, Aug. 5.
Deputies from Riverbank Police Services were dispatched to the residence at 10:20 p.m. regarding a person laying in the yard.
When deputies arrived they found the victim deceased, partially clothed, lying in the front yard of the one-story home. Sheriff Adam Christianson stated in a press release that the death appeared to have taken place during an altercation.
When deputies searched the house they found an adult female hiding inside. She was uninjured, but was taken to the police department as part of being a victim in an associated crime.
Investigators worked throughout the night and into Wednesday interviewing witnesses and processing the scene for evidence.
According to the sheriff’s department, several other people were at the house and detectives were attempting to locate them for statements.
An autopsy was completed Wednesday afternoon and the case was determined to be a homicide. The cause of death was not released and authorities initially withheld the victim’s name pending family notification.
On Thursday, Aug. 7, the sheriff’s department identified the victim as Jesus Ambrosio Quintana of Riverbank.
Sheriff’s officials remained tight-lipped regarding the details surrounding the incident, but neighbors in the area reported the house as being frequented by drug-users and other undesirables requiring frequent police responses to the residence.
“People are always in and out over there,” said Marisol Pantoja, who lives across the street. “Police are always being called there.”
Guadalupe Heredia, who lives a few doors down, said there were “lots of druggies” hanging out at the house. She said she saw the police cars out Tuesday night and thought it was a serious call this time because officers were cordoning off the street with crime scene tape.
On Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 6, a man who identified himself only as “Salvador” was in the side yard of the residence and said he was at the house at the time of the incident but left prior to the arrival of police. He said police had not contacted him about the incident.
“Whatever happened is their business,” Salvador said. “I don’t need them in my business, so I stay out of theirs.”
Salvador said he was in another bedroom and had just taken a shower when he heard commotion coming from the living room.
When he went out to see what happened, the woman who lives at the residence and “a black guy” told him Quintana “had tried to rape” the woman.
Salvador said that both the woman and the other subject had been drinking when the victim, who he described as a “sort of heavy guy,” showed up at the house and joined them.
Salvador said he knew the names of everyone but declined to provide them. The only other person at the residence at the time was a subject he knew only as “Biker Bill” who lived in the garage.
Salvador said that the male told him he pushed the victim out of the house and he hit his head when they closed the door behind him.
“When I looked outside I saw him on the ground and I thought he was just drunk and passed out,” Salvador said. “He was still on the ground when I left.”
Salvador said he later returned to the house and learned that the subject had died and the police were called. Quintana’s white truck had also been impounded by police.
He added that the woman told him she declined to have a rape kit performed at a hospital.
Stanislaus Sheriff’s Detective John Gingrich would not confirm whether or not “Salvador” had been contacted or if the woman had claimed an attempted rape occurred at the residence.
On Wednesday evening, Sheriff Adam Christianson provided a press release identifying Isaac James Vaughn, 33, of Riverbank, as a suspect in the case. Vaughn is a black male and also goes by the name Daniel Cross.
Vaughn is currently at large, considered dangerous and is wanted by sheriff’s detectives for questioning.
Anyone with information about this case or the whereabouts of Isaac James Vaughn is encouraged to call Detective Josh Sandoval at (209) 525-7073 or CrimeStoppers at (209) 521-4636.