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Kern County homicide numbers rise as more victims identified

On pace to exceed last year's homicide total.
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Posted at 5:26 PM, Jun 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-29 20:26:17-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — On Tuesday law enforcement identified two people who were all killed on the streets of Kern County, while a third was found.

The Kern County Sheriff's Office says 40-year-old Valentin Flores Castaneda was shot and killed in an orchard near Lerdo Highway in Lost Hills. This happened on June 27th. Right now it's not clear what led up to the shooting. KCSO says it is working to determine if his death was a homicide.

If you have any information about this crime call KCSO.

Meanwhile, KCSO also identified a man killed Monday near Weedpatch Highway. Deputies say someone shot and killed 28-year-old Jesus Cachu Melgoza. His death is being investigated as a homicide.

And on Tuesday, KCSO deputies found a man dead near East Curnow Road between Cottonwood Road and Union Avenue. Investigators say he had injuries on his head and upper body but haven't specified what those were. Homicide detectives are also investigating the death.

In 2019 Kern County saw 90 homicides. Then in 2020, that number increased to 136 deaths on our streets. If we stay at the same pace we're at now we are likely to exceed last year's record number of homicides.