UPDATE: 9/27/23 — The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has identified a second suspect in the killing of Jesus Joel Romero in Point Arena over the weekend as 44-year-old Edgar Arteaga Coria from Gualala.
He’s described as standing roughly 5 feet, 10 inches tall at 160 to 170 pounds with brown eyes, black hair and visible tattoos on his neck. Investigators say Arteaga Coria is armed and dangerous, but he’s also believed to have fled from Mendocino County.
MENDOCINO Co., 9/25/23 — An alleged bar fight* turned deadly in Point Arena early Sunday morning, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators have a suspect in custody, and the victim has been identified as 32-year-old Jesus Joel Romero.
Deputies were dispatched to the area just after 2 a.m. when one of Romero’s relatives called in to report an assault that had occurred earlier that night at a bar in Point Arena. Romero’s body was found “a significant distance” from the bar on Ten Mile Cut Off Road. Investigators say he was “obviously deceased,” and appears to have died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds.
Two persons of interest have been identified — including 23-year-old Antonio Coria Garcia from Gualala, who turned himself in to detectives Sunday evening. Coria Garcia was arrested on suspicion of murder and booked into the Mendocino County Jail, where he’s being held on $550,000 bail. A booking photo was not immediately available.
The second individual in question remained at large Monday morning but had not yet been publicly named by the sheriff’s office.
The coroner’s office has scheduled an autopsy for Romero later this week, and the case remains under active investigation by the sheriff’s office with assistance from the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office and the California Department of Justice. Anyone with additional information is asked to call dispatch at 707-463-4086.
Romero’s death marks the first fatal shooting in Point Arena since the death of Raymond White in June, 2017. It is Mendocino County’s smallest incorporated city, with roughly 450 residents.
*Update: A person stating that they work at the bar has contacted The Mendocino Voice saying that bar’s camera footage shows no incident occurring at the bar. The Mendocino Voice has not yet independently reviewed that footage.
Here’s the most recent information from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office:
DATE: “September 25, 2023”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
187 PC – Murder
Ten Mile Cut Off Road in Point Arena, CA
Date of Incident:
Jesus Joel Romero (32-year-old male from Point Arena, CA)
Antonio Coria Garcia (23-year-old male from Gualala, CA)
Captain Gregory L. Van Patten #1184
UPDATED PRESS RELEASE (09-25-23@ 9:48AM):
This updated press release is being disseminated for clarification purposes. The narrative portion of Updated Press Release #1 issued on 09-25-23 @ 9:00AM inaccurately described Jesus Joel Romero as residing in Gualala, California. His correct city of residency is Point Arena, California according to the Sheriff’s Office Coroner’s Division.
UPDATED PRESS RELEASE (09-25-23 @ 9:00AM):
During the midst of active investigations, Sheriff’s Detectives developed the identities of two adult males as persons of interest in this homicide investigation.
During the evening hours of 09-24-23, Sheriff’s Detectives were contacted by Antonio Coria Garcia who was one of the persons of interest. This contact was at the request of Coria Garcia.
During the contact, Sheriff’s Detectives established probable cause to believe Coria Garcia was involved in the killing of the adult male victim. As a result, Coria Garcia was booked into the Mendocino County Jail (Inmate Detail – CORIAGARCIA, ANTONIO).
Sheriff’s Detectives are currently seeking to locate the second identified person of interest and that person’s identity is being withheld at this time.
Sheriff’s Detectives have identified the adult male victim as being Jesus Joel Romero, a 32-year-old from Gualala, California.
A forensic autopsy is scheduled for later this week, but preliminary body observations suggest Romero died as the result of multiple gunshot wounds.
ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE (09-24-23):
On 09-24-2023 at 2:08 AM Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Deputies were dispatched to a reported physical assault in Point Arena, California.
The Sheriff’s Office received a telephone call from a family member reporting that they had learned that their family member (adult male) had been physically assaulted while at a bar in the City of Point Arena. This physical assault had apparently occurred hour(s) prior to the call to the Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies arrived in Point Arena and began searching for the adult male, subsequently locating him on Ten Mile Cut Off Road, a significant distance away from the bar.
The adult male was obviously deceased and the condition of his body led Deputies to believed that he was the victim of a homicide.
Sheriff’s Detectives were summoned to the scene and are in the mists of an active investigation. They are being assisted by investigators with the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office and criminalist with the California Department of Justice.
No further information is available for public release at this time due to the active investigation.
There is currently a significant law enforcement presence in Point Arena in connection with this investigation.
Due to active crime scene investigation/processing the following areas will be inaccessible due to road closure(s) in Point Arena:
Ten Mile Cut Off Road from Schooner Gulch Road to Iversen Road.
These road closure(s) are expected to remain in place for the remainder of the day (09-24-23).
Anyone with information that may assist investigators are urged to call the Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center at 707-463-4086.
Captain Gregory L. Van Patten #1184