More than a year and a half with no answers in Sterling Road homicide

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif (KGET) — More than a year and a half has passed since Jose Jesus Mendoza, 22, and Jessica Soria, 23, were shot and killed in East Bakersfield. With raw emotions still lingering, the victim’s family hopes they can find who was responsible for the killings before more blood is shed. 

“I would like to see them in jail where they belong,” Mendoza’s father Ubaldo Mendoza said. “So they won’t hurt anybody else.”

On Apr. 7, 2018 the family says Jose was out with some friends in downtown Bakersfield watching a boxing match. At some point in the night Mendoza left his friend group and met with Soria in the early hours of April 8. 

Both Mendoza and Soria returned to his home on Sterling Road where family says they believe someone was already waiting for them. 

“Whoever came in, they took their time to open the gate, sliding door and park[ed] their car in my driveway and waited for my son,” Ubaldo Mendoza said. 

Mendoza’s family was out of town that weekend and were told by neighbors that shots were heard at around 2 a.m. 

The Kern County Sheriff’s Office found Jose and Jessica lying on the ground suffering from gunshot wounds. Mendoza was shot once in the chin and Soria was shot in the head. As it stands there have been no arrests made in the case, according to KCSO, leaving a dangerous killer out on local streets.

Mendoza traveled out of town often for work but the family says that since his passing it feels like one long business trip that he has yet to return from. 

“For me it’s like the longest trip that he has taken,” Mendoza’s mother Maricela Mendoza.

Mendoza’s family describes him as a special and respectful young man who had compassion for others. Since the death of their son, the family now sits in worry, afraid that the person who killed their son may retaliate against them.

“Everywhere I go I have to make sure that I am safe, that my family is safe,” Ubaldo Menodza said. “Am I being followed? Is anybody looking?”

Although some time has passed since her son’s death, the hardest concept to come to terms for Maricela Mendoza is not having her son physically around anymore. 

“The hardest thing is him not being here with me.”

Jose would have been turning 24 next month. 

KGET reached out to the family of Jessica Soria but did not receive a response. 

If you have any information regarding this case you are urged to call KCSO at 661-861-3110.

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