Local News

Tuesday, Jan 21 2014 05:57 PM

Search warrant says shooting victim had problems with co-worker

BY JASON KOTOWSKI californian staff writer jkotowski@bakersfield.com

A recently filed search warrant in connection with a double homicide in McFarland four months ago reveals that one of the victims had recently confided to a family member about problems with a co-worker and "appeared to be afraid" of the person.

Kern County sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt said Tuesday that no arrests have been made in the Sept. 24 shooting deaths of Fernando Valdez Sr. and Fernando Valdez Jr. He said the investigation into the killing of the father and son is ongoing.

Fernando Valdez Jr., 28, had worked as a Realtor at RE/MAX Magic in the 100 block of New Stine Road. The search warrant said he had told a cousin about problems he had with another Realtor, and he no longer wanted to show houses by himself.

The cousin told deputies Valdez appeared afraid of the other real estate agent, according to the search warrant. Deputies served the warrant at RE/MAX Sept. 27 and took items including Valdez's computer, a box filled with his files and other items from his cubicle.

Debbie Banducci, broker-owner at RE/MAX Magic, described Valdez Jr. as a charming, hard-working, goal-oriented person who she never heard complain.

"To know him, he was just so gentle-natured," Banducci said in an interview Tuesday.

She said deputies never questioned her regarding Valdez Jr. being afraid of another employee. She said real estate agents get in arguments all the time, the same as in other workplaces.

Deputies have said Valdez Jr. and his 53-year-old father were shot at 11:05 p.m. at their ranch-style home in the 31000 block of Sherwood Avenue. Both died within a few hours of the shooting.

The search warrant says Valdez Sr.'s wife was present when the shooting occurred. She told deputies she saw a Hispanic male, small in stature, with something over his face similar to a ski mask.

No suspects or persons of interest have been named.

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