Hunt For Suspected Killer Of 7, Including 2 Daughters Found In Trash
GLEN ELLEN, Calif. (AP) _ A 3-year-old girl, the survivor of a rampage that claimed her mother, grandmother, two sisters, two aunts and an unrelated man, was showered with toys Sunday as she recovered from a slashed throat.
Lawmen hunted her father, 28-year-old winery worker Ramon Salcido, from Mexico to Canada.
The object of compassion was 3-year-old Carmina Salcido, who was rescued bleeding and barely conscious Saturday from a wine country dump between Petaluma and Sonoma, near the bodies of her two sisters, whose throats also were cut.
Salcido has been hunted since Friday morning when officers discovered the bodies of his wife, Angela, 24, at their Boyes Hot Springs home; his mother- in-law and her two young daughters at their home in Cotati; and a co-worker at the Grand Cru Winery. Police have not yet pieced together the sequence of killings.
″We’ve got to find him, we’ve got to find him,″ Sonoma County Sheriff Dick Michaelsen mumbled at a news conference Saturday after the discovery of Carmina and her sisters.
On Sunday, the owners of the Grand Cru Winery, where Salcido worked as a forklift operator, offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to his capture.
″These atrocities have caused fear and terror to invade an area known for its beauty and hospitality,″ Walter and Bettina Dreyer said in a statement.
The couple also established a trust fund for both Carmina Salcido and for the family of Tracy Toovey, an assistant winemaker at Grand Cru, who was shot to death in Friday’s rampage.
Salcido has been described by neighbors as a hostile gun-toter who drank a lot, a husband who harbored chronic, towering jealousy of his attractive wife - to the point that he drove home from work several times a day to spy on her.
Despite reports of Salcido’s having problems at work, however, Dreyer remembered his employee as a ″very competent″ worker who was ″quick to please.″
Carmina, her throat cut nearly from ear to ear, and her dead sisters, Teresa, 1, and Sofia, 4, were found near a landfill transfer station not far from where Salcido had fled with them Friday.
Carmina, also suffering exposure and dehydration, was flown to Petaluma Valley Hospital, where she told deputies her father had slashed her sisters and herself. After two hours of surgery, Carmina was in stable condition.
″She’s still in stable condition and doing well,″ nursing supervisor Stasia Andrew said Sunday. ″Different people have sent stuffed animals. She has a teddy bears and a couple of bunnies.″
Doctors said she suffered some vocal cord damage but is expected to recover.
A trust fund was being established for Carmina in a Sonoma bank.
Michaelsen said Salcido is the only suspect in the killings. A ranch worker who was shot in a shoulder, apparently the first person attacked, had alerted authorities, sending them first to the winery where they found one man shot to death.
At a news conference Friday, Michaelsen said a department psychologist had warned that the savagery of the slayings indicated Salcido ″no longer felt any affection or attachment to his own children.″
The three girls were spotted in a ravine near the dump by a man working on his truck.
″At first he thought they were dolls,″ the sheriff said.
The man, unidentified, called to a worker from the dump and the two found ″yet another horrible scene,″ Michaelsen said.
″I tried to talk to the little girl who was still alive and I tried to comfort her,″ said the dump worker, Tim Smith. ″Her throat was nearly cut from ear to ear.″
Autopsies performed Saturday in San Francisco revealed that Mrs. Salcido had been shot, and her mother had been shot and her throat was slashed, the sheriff’s office reported. Mrs. Salcido’s two sisters, age 8 and 12, died of throat wounds apparently inflicted with a knife and had been raped and sodomized, Michaelsen said.
A friend and a neighbor described Salcido as fiercely jealous of his wife.
″He’s crazy. He was always going around with a gun,″ said Richard Clark, a next-door neighbor to the Salcidos. ″I could see it coming.″
″One time he threatened to blow (his wife’s) head off,″ he added.
During the past week, Salcido was served with a Fresno County court order to pay $511 a month child support to his ex-wife in Fresno and nearly $6,000 for back support payments, according to court papers.