Gilroy police have arrested a man in a murder investigation that previously involved two women captured on surveillance video inside a convenience store, allegedly using the dead man’s credit card.
On Tuesday, Sgt. Pedro Espinoza said they had obtained an arrest warrant for 22-year-old Rodrigo Bejarano in connection with the death of 56-year-old Robert Heiser found Feb. 16 inside his home. Police didn’t have far to look to arrest him. Bejarano was in custody on an unrelated matter, police said, although they didn’t say for what. Espinoza didn’t say how Bejarano was connected to the homicide, and Bejarano was not seen or mentioned in surveillance video from an East San Jose minimart that police had released about two weeks ago.
Police are still looking for 17-year-old Isabella Chaidez . The brief surveillance video inside the minimart showed Chaidez and Gabriella Bernice Ortiz, 19, entering the store, before the clip ends abruptly. Police did not release more of the video. But police allege either one or both of them used Heiser’s card at the store a few hours after his body was found inside his home on Bay Tree Drive.
An autopsy revealed Heiser had died of blunt force trauma, although Espinoza said there is no sign of forced entry into the home. Documents reveal that some electronics, though, were stolen from the house.
Ortiz was arrested on Feb. 23 and is still in custody. All the suspects are from San Jose.
Espinoza said officers still don't know the connection between Heiser and the suspects. But he did say Heiser's death "wasn't random." He wouldn't elaborate.
According to an obituary in the Mercury News, Heiser, the sixth of ten children, was a “stand-out basketball player” in high school who built a “successful sales career” that included 14 years at Aspect Communications where he last served as regional vice president of foundation account sales, He also volunteered as site coordinator for the Gilroy distribution center of Second Harvest Food Bank.