Men found dead in California Valley home

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CALIFORNIA VALLEY — On Monday, Jan. 29 two individuals were found deceased in a residence located on the 12000 block of Arrow Bear Trail in California Valley.

At approximately 11:17 a.m. the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a possible deceased subject in a residence. Upon arrival, the Sheriff’s Deputies, along with California Game and Fish and Wildlife Warden’s, found two deceased individuals, Edward Chavez Mendoza, age 70, a resident of California Valley and his son, Edmundo Eduardo Mendoza Jr., age 37, also a resident of California Valley inside the home.

When asked if the suspicious deaths are related to drugs, mental health or both, Detective Commander Brian Hascall with the Sheriff’s Office responded, “There could be a connection to that, but right now they could not confirm that.”

This was the ninth response by the Sheriff’s Office to this residence since 2012. Of these responses, four calls involved a subject with mental illness causing a disturbance. Three of these calls resulted in an individual at the house being taken into protective custody for a mental health evaluation.

At one time, the Mendozas had one of the larger cannabis growing operations in California Valley with approximately 500 plants. The owners had recently been scaling back their cultivation due to the County Cannabis Ordinance that took effect on Jan. 1. At the time of the shooting they had less than 20 plants, Haskill said.

During the investigation Monday, Sheriff’s detectives searched the residence, resulting in the seizure of four handguns, two shotguns and body armor. One of the handguns recovered was reported stolen from the San Bernardino area. Per Hascall, there was no evidence of a break-in. Both individuals died of gunshot wounds.

Hascall said he believed the incident to be isolated and indicated that there are no outstanding suspects and no danger to the public.

Autopsies for Mendoza and Mendoza Jr. were scheduled for Jan. 31.

“If anybody in the area saw anything that would aid us in our investigation, we would certainly like to hear from them,” Hascall said.

If anyone has information on this incident, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 805-781-4500 or remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 549 STOP (549-7867). You can also text your tip to Crime Stoppers by texting “SLOTIPS plus your message” to CRIMES (274637) or submit your tip through this website.

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