Reedley community gathers to mourn Bonds family

More than 100 people attend a candlelight vigil in front of the Bonds’ family home where they were killed

Reedley community members hug each other during the candlelight vigil held at South Church Avenue to honor the four victims of a homicide that took place earlier in the week, Jan. 12, 2024. Residents Billy Bonds, Darrell Bonds, Guadalupe Chavez Bonds and Matthew Bonds were violently killed in a crime the Reedley Police Department is still investigating. (Serena Bettis)
Serena Bettis
Published January 16, 2024  • 
10:30 am

REEDLEY – Less than one week after a suspected burglary report led to the discovery of a violent quadruple-homicide, friends, family and neighbors gathered at South Church Avenue in Reedley to honor the victims and remember their impact on the community. 

A memorial dedicated to Matthew Bonds sits in the driveway of 1133 South Church Ave. Jan. 12, 2024. The Reedley Police Department found Matthew Bonds' body in the detached garage of his neighbor's house on Jan. 9, 2024, after his family members Billy Bonds, Darrell Bonds and Guadalupe Chavez Bonds were found dead in their home at 1151 South Church Ave. on Jan. 6, 2024. (Serena Bettis)

Over 100 residents joined in the candlelight vigil held at 1151 South Church Ave. on Jan. 12 to celebrate and pray for the deceased, which included 81-year-old Billy Bonds, 61-year-old Darrell Bonds, 44-year-old Guadalupe Chavez Bonds and 43-year-old Matthew Bonds. 

Local pastors, police department leaders and family members spoke at the vigil, sharing stories of their loved ones and talking about how to move forward with their grief. Family members also thanked Reedley police for their investigative work and support, and spoke about how they would not rest until they got justice for the deceased.

Reedley Chief of Police Joe Garza and Cmdr. Marc Ediger both spoke at the vigil and said that it was encouraging to see so many people come out to support the family. Ediger assured those gathered that “the police department is here for you, to walk you through tragic circumstances.”

Three generations of one family were lost earlier in the week after members of the Bonds family were shot and killed at their home on South Church Avenue. Reedley police discovered the first three victims in the backyard of the residence at 1151 South Church Ave. on Jan. 6, and found the fourth victim in the garage of the neighbor’s house at 1133 South Church Ave. on Jan. 9. 

The investigation led by the Reedley Police Department is ongoing as detectives continue to piece together what led to these deaths. Three individuals — all of whom lived at 1133 South Church Ave. — suspected of involvement were arrested on Jan. 9, including a 17-year-old male juvenile who is being charged with four counts of homicide.

Reedley police believe there may be other individuals who were involved in the crime still at-large.

The deceased individuals were long-time Reedley residents. Billy Bonds was the father to Darrell Bonds and grandfather to Matthew Bonds; Guadalupe “Lupe” Chavez Bonds and Matthew Bonds were married for many years. 

At the vigil, many people who attended church with Lupe Chavez Bonds spoke about her commitment to Christianity and said she had the “spirit of help always in her heart.” She was constantly volunteering with the church and through her involvement in the local Lions Club, and was willing to help anyone. 

Of Darrell Bonds and Billy Bonds, one person who spoke at the vigil said that Darrell loved fast cars — which garnered a laugh from the crowd — and Billy “loved money and food, but most of all his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.” Billy will be remembered for how he always made sure his children were taken care of.

Matthew Bonds’ sister-in-law shared stories about the Bonds family, and said they welcomed her with open arms and a lot of love. She said that Matthew was the kind of person who always made sure his younger brother never got picked on and who came late to a birthday party because he was adamant that he had to bring a birthday card along with a gift. 

Family members ended the vigil by thanking the community for all of their support, saying that they would not give up on their fight for justice for the Bonds and that they felt peace in their hearts knowing no one would ever hurt the deceased again. 

A GoFundMe has also been set up to support the family.

Serena Bettis
General Assignment Reporter