LOST HILLS, Calif. (KGET) — Jealousy is an apparent motive in the shooting death of a man whose body was found in June in an orchard near Lost Hills.
Court documents say the wife of suspect Bulmaro Araujo Cabezas sent nude photos to the victim, who worked with her husband.
The wife denied engaging in a sexual relationship with 40-year-old Valentin Flores Castaneda but admitted sending the photos, the reports filed by sheriff’s detectives say. She told investigators she didn’t know if her husband knew about the photos, or if he was capable of killing someone over them.
Detectives served warrants on items including Cabezas’ phone, the GPS coordinates of which indicated he traveled from his assigned work area to the scene of the homicide on the day of the killing, according to the filings. Cabezas also called Castaneda that day, the documents say.
Cabezas, 35, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and is held on $2 million bail.
A supervisor for The Wonderful Company, for which both Cabezas and Castaneda worked as irrigators, found Castaneda’s body the afternoon of June 27 in an orchard near an aqueduct, in an area just east of Truman Avenue and Resource Street.
Castaneda hadn’t returned to the equipment yard at the end of his shift. The supervisor searched the fields, finally locating him lying next to his quad, his face and chest covered in blood. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Several shotgun shell casings were located, the filings say.
After detectives collected evidence pointing to Cabezas as the suspect, they brought him in for questioning on Aug. 11.
Cabezas said he hardly knew Castaneda, and had only met him once about a year ago when they were assigned to shake almond trees, the filings say. He said he never saw him outside work.
Before his death, Castaneda’s name came up among co-workers as someone who could provide new rims for his truck, Cabezas told detectives. He said he called Cabezas the day of the shooting to see if he had the rims.
Cabezas had no explanation as to why his phone placed him at the scene of the shooting. He told detectives he had his phone on him throughout the day.
Detectives showed him messages sent between his wife and Castaneda. He denied knowing about their relationship, the filings say.
Cabezas is due back in court Dec. 14. He has no prior criminal record in Kern County, according to the Superior Court website.