It’s been 30 years since a violent predator took the life of a young Bakersfield mother, leaving two children orphaned.
This crime was particularly brutal, and for most their lives, the children of Lorraine Rodriguez were in the dark about what happened to their mother. But the frightening truth is, much of the case remains a mystery. We know Lorraine Rodriguez was savagely attacked, and discarded like trash, but the identity of the killer remains unknown. We need your help to change that.
It was summer 1988. Ten-year-old Sherene Garcia lay in bed at her grandmother’s home, unable to sleep, Sherene cried out to her mom.
“I wonder, did she know something was wrong? Did she feel something was wrong?”
It was late, but her mother, 30-year-old Lorraine Rodriguez came and sat on her bed.
“We said a prayer together and she told me-her last words, ‘Promise me that no matter what happens in life, you’ll always be there for your sister because you’re gonna realize one day when you get older that all you’re gonna have is each other…’ That was the last time I seen her.”
Missing for about a day, the mother of two was discovered in a field on Daniels Lane, off Union Avenue, in Southeast Bakersfield,
What happened that night 30 years ago? Family believes Lorraine left the house just after midnight and went down the street to Tollhouse Drive to see friends.
A woman there told police she saw Lorraine leave alone at around 4 a.m. Sixteen hours later, her body was discovered less than half a mile away.
Lorraine was naked. Her head severely bludgeoned with a bloody concrete block found not far from her body.
“Whoever did that, you took our mom. We were kids and needed our mom. We needed her, we didn’t have a dad, we just had her.”
Sherene says being stripped of her mother as a child in such a violent way, turned her life upside down.
“I stopped loving myself, I felt like, who’s gonna love me like she did? Nobody.”
At age 14, Sherene became addicted to meth.
“It’s true. Every addict needs an excuse to use … That was mine,” she says.
Seven years ago, Sherene got sober.
“Through my sobriety class, you were to write down things, what would you like to do with your life? One of the main things on my bucket list was that I’m going to get answers for my mom.”
Sherene says she’s ready to find out the answers that could once again turn her life upside down: Who raped and murdered her mother?
“I don’t want to get any older and my mom’s case to just be on the shelf collecting dust. She was a human being, she might just be a name to somebody else, but she was my mom.”
With her younger sister Lisa by her side-she says shes accepted the killer is someone who could know someone she could’ve even been close to.
“I’m tired of wanting to know what happened. I’m tired, I’m mentally exhausted. I feel that I’ve already came so far with carrying so much baggage but I could go even farther if I could just get answers.”
We believe there’s some out there, other than the killer, who knows who murdered Lorraine Rodriguez, possibly someone who doesn’t even realize this case is still unsolved. The smallest bit of information could blow this case wide open and finally give Lorraine’s family the answers they so badly need.
If you have any information, you’re urged to call the Kern County Sheriff’s Office at 861-3110, or you can remain anonymous by calling Secret Witness at 322-4040.