Two men plead not guilty to murder after woman's body was found in Lamont

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Posted at 11:40 AM, Oct 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 11:32:15-04

LAMONT, Calif. — Two men, who prosecutors said are connected to a woman's body found in Lamont, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murder in the first degree and felony possession of a firearm.

The woman, whose body was found in Lamont on Friday, was dentified as 24-year-old Maricruz Mendoza. According to the Kern County Coroner, Mendoza died of "traumatic injuries."

Jose Maldonado, 47, and Antonio Barraza, 37, were arrested and charged in connection with the death of Mendoza. They are being held on a $1 million bail and have another hearing scheduled for Nov. 23.

Around 9:45 a.m. Friday, Kern County Sheriff deputies were conducting a follow-up investigation on a missing person in the 10000 block of Elmco Avenue in Lamont. When they arrived at the location, they said they found the decomposing body of a woman in her mid-twenties.

Anyone with information on the case is urged to call the Kern County Sheriff’s Office at (661) 861-3110 or the Secret Witness Hotline at (661) 322-4040.