Reward being offered for information on Winton Park homicide

Homicide detectives still searching for clues on suspect in July 19 shooting death of 69-year-old James Buford of Sanger

Sanger resident James Buford, 69, was identified as the victim of a suspected homicide near Winton Park on July 19. He was found shot and critically wounded near near the park. Buford, who was hired as a custodian caretaker to provide on-site security at the park, died at a Fresno hospital a short time after he was discovered. (Fresno County Sheriff’s Office)
Mid Valley Times Staff
Published July 30, 2023  • 
12:00 pm

SANGER – Fresno County Sheriff’s homicide detectives are seeking help in finding information about the fatal shooting earlier this month of a 69-year-old Sanger man near Winton Park.

As a result, Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,000 cash reward for anyone who can help detectives pinpoint a possible suspect of suspects responsible and make an arrest in the July 19 death of James Buford.

A custodian caretaker providing security at the rural park northeast of Sanger, Buford was found with a gunshot wound along Piedra Road outside the park after 10:30 p.m. He was transported to Fresno’s Community Regional, where he died a short time later. 

Buford, contracted by Fresno County as a camp host, was one of 13 such custodian caretakers working at seven different county parks. He initially had been spotted injured by a utility worker near Piedra and Elwood roads.

Tony Botti with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office called Buford an innocent victim, and homicide detectives have not determined any motive for the murder.

Mid Valley Times Staff