Sheriff's detectives investigating a homicide in Tehachapi, resident arrested

Two men found dead inside apartment

TEHACHAPI, Calif. - The Kern County Sheriff's Department is assisting the Tehachapi Police Department with a homicide investigation on the 600 block of Cherry Lane in Tehachapi.

Around 4 a.m., officers with the Tehachapi Police Department responded to a peace disturbance at the apartment complex located on Cherry Lane.

Officers were directed to apartment 47 and when they arrived they contacted the resident, 28-year-old Joaquin Balassa.

When officers entered the apartment, they said they found two adult males suffering from obvious trauma.

Paramedics pronounced both victims dead at the scene. The victims have been identified as 54-year-old Jose Antonio Fajardo and 57-year-old Guy Richard Koukal.

Tehachapi police requested assistance from the Kern County Sheriff's Office homicide unit and detectives arrived at the scene and assumed the investigation.

Through the course of the investigation, detectives were able to develop probable cause to arrest Joaquin Balassa for murder. 

Balassa was booked at the Kern county Jail for two counts of murder. 

After autopsies were completed, the cause of death was determined to be blunt injuries and the manner was homicide.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact the Kern County Sheriff's Office at (661) 861-3110 or contact Secret Witness at (661) 322-4040. Anonymous "text" tips can be sent to TIP411 (847411).  Just type the key word "KCSO" prior to the message.

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