Police investigating Watsonville's first homicide of 2019

Watsonville Police detective Rudy Lopez Jr. searches Carnation Drive for clues Monday where a man was stabbed and killed late Saturday night on the 100 block. Votive candles (shown here), flowers and handmade signs are part of a makeshift altar at the scene. — Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian

WATSONVILLE — The 27-year-old man who died Saturday after he was stabbed multiple times was identified as Salvador Ochoa-Avalos of Freedom.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff-Coroner listed the cause of death as a stab wound to the chest.

Watsonville Police detectives are still investigating the murder, which occurred just before 11 p.m. Saturday.

When officers arrived on the 100 block of Carnation Drive, they found Ochoa-Avalos in the middle of the road, in between two medical facilities near Green Valley Road. Paramedics rendered aid, but the victim died on scene, WPD Spokeswoman Michelle Pulido said.

It is Watsonville's first reported homicide of the year, according to Pulido.

WPD Det. Ely Uretsky said that investigators are looking for witnesses and hoping that a neighbor has surveillance footage of the incident.

stabbing vic ochoa pic web 6-28

Salvador Ochoa-Avalos

A neighbor who has lived in the area for four years said the incident is unusual for the neighborhood, which he described as normally quiet.

It is not yet clear if the incident is gang-related.

“We’re asking for those people to give any information they can,” Uretsky said. “No amount of information is too small, that can help us put things together and catch the person that committed this homicide.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Gustavo Zamora at 831-768-3355. Anonymous tipsters can call 768-3544.

•••

Ochoa-Avalos’s family has set up a Gofundme page to help defray funeral costs. As of Wednesday afternoon, they had raised $1,295 toward a $5,000 goal. Visit www.bit.ly/2xata6G.

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