Hercules Body Has an ID

Saturday, Sep 11, 2010  |  Updated 4:01 PM PDT
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Hercules Body Has an ID

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The Contra Costa County coroner's office has completed an autopsy  on a body that was found hidden in a Hercules home Thursday that was at the  center of a recent killing spree, a Hercules police spokeswoman said.
     
The body has been positively identified, through dental records, as that of Frederick Sales, age 35.

The body was found at about 3 p.m. in a downstairs closet of the  home, located at 1066 Crepe Myrtle Drive, where 73-year-old Ricardo Sales was  found bludgeoned to death on Aug. 28.

Sales and his son, Frederick Sales were reported missing on  Aug. 28. They lived at the home with their landlady and one other person,  according to police.

Investigators believe the elder Sales was killed the day before  his body was discovered.

Police had searched the house after finding Ricardo Sales' body  but didn't find the second body, apparently because the killer had gone to  great lengths to conceal it, police spokeswoman Doreen Mathews said.

The body had been wrapped in several layers of material and shoved  into the back of a J-shaped closet under the stairs, Mathews said.

The killer had then reportedly fashioned a false wall to make it  look like the closet ended before the bend. The body was concealed behind the  fagade, Mathews said.

The house had been sealed since the discovery of Sales' body, but  investigators returned there Thursday with FBI crime lab technicians to  collect more evidence.

Once inside, they noticed an odor and began searching for its  source, which is when they found the body, Mathews said.

Police had been searching for the younger Sales since Aug. 28,  including sifting through an estimated 3,000 tons of garbage at the Keller  Canyon Landfill in Pittsburg.
The search of the landfill has been suspended until the body has  been identified, Mathews said.

Investigators believe that Efren Valdemoro, 38, killed the elder  Sales the day before his body was discovered and most likely killed the  person whose body was found in the closet.

Valdemoro was shot to death by California Highway Patrol officers  on Aug. 31 after he allegedly abducted his girlfriend, Cindy Tran, 46, and  led police on a high-speed chase from Pleasant Hill to Richmond, according to  the CHP.
When the chase ended, Tran was found dead in the vehicle Valdemoro  had been driving. She had been strangled, police said.

Tran owned and lived at the house on Crepe Myrtle Drive and rented  rooms to Ricardo and Frederick Sales and one other person, police said.

According to police, there had been friction in the home because  Valdemoro accused the Sales father and son of interfering with his  relationship.

The three had gotten into a fight a week before Ricardo Sales was  killed. Police were called to break it up, but no arrests were made, police  said.

Valdemoro has also been connected to two other homicides in  Vallejo.

The bodies of 63-year-old Segundina Allen and her friend,  60-year-old Marcaria Smart, were found on Aug. 31 at a house on Upland Court.  One of the bodies had been buried in a shallow grave in the backyard, and the  other was found inside the residence, Vallejo police said.

Valdemoro had often stayed at the house and borrowed Allen's car,  with or without permission, Vallejo police said. He was allegedly driving the  car, a Cadillac Escalade, at the time of Ricardo Sales' murder.

Police are still investigating whether Allen's husband, Charles  Rittenhouse, 72, who lived in the home with the bodies for several days  before they were discovered, had anything to do with the murders.
    

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