4th homicide victim found on Church Avenue in Reedley

Reedley Police Department finds fourth homicide victim during search of neighbor’s property connected to the investigation of a triple-homicide

By Serena Bettis
Published January 9, 2024  • 
1:00 pm
(Serena Bettis)
(Serena Bettis)

REEDLEY – The Reedley Police Department (RPD) discovered a fourth homicide victim early Tuesday morning after serving a search warrant at a Reedley residence in connection with the ongoing triple-homicide investigation. 

The fourth victim, described as a white adult man likely in his mid-40s, was found on Jan. 9 in the 1100 block of South Church Avenue, on the property of the residence next door to where the first three victims were found the morning of Jan. 6. 

RPD also detained — but did not take into custody — three individuals who were at the residence where the fourth victim was found, Chief of Police Joe Garza said during a press conference around 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 9. At that time, Garza said the three detained individuals had not yet been questioned by the department. 

Garza identified the three detained individuals as an older male juvenile, a male in his early 20s and a female in her late 30s. 

Reedley police were not able to confirm whether or not the fourth victim found that morning was Matthew Bonds, a Reedley resident who lived with the first three homicide victims, or whether or not the deceased person found was connected to the triple homicide. 

RPD is continuing the search for 43-year-old Bonds, who is listed as a missing at-risk adult due to known health issues and his connection to the three homicide victims. 

“This fourth body, we do not know if it’s connected at this point until we get a positive identification on the body,” Garza said. “And then at that time we will be able to positively say if it was related to the previous homicide that we’re investigating; so at this time it’s being treated as a separate homicide until we can determine the connection.”

Garza said the fourth victim was found with signs of trauma, leading them to investigate the death as a homicide, but the cause of death has not been determined or released. 

Firearms were also located in the search of the Church Avenue property, and Garza said RPD was working on identifying where they came from or who they belonged to. 

Homicide investigation 

Garza said the Reedley Police Department received authorization for three search warrants for properties in Selma, Parlier and Reedley. 

“Over the past 24 hours, the Reedley Police Department has received information, tips and also developed some investigative leads, which led them to author three search warrants in connection with the ongoing investigation — the homicide investigation,” Garza said.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team served the search warrants in Parlier and Selma, and the Clovis Police Department’s SWAT Team served the search warrant in Reedley, Garza said. At each residence, RPD did find evidence they believe could be connected to the triple homicide investigation, including multiple vehicles located at the properties in Parlier and Selma.

All three search warrants were served at the same time in the early morning hours — around 3 a.m. — of Jan. 9, so as to protect any evidence believed to be at the residences, Garza said. 

Garza said that while there were people in the residences searched in Parlier and Selma, no individuals in those residences had been detained beyond the time the department was conducting the search. 

As of Tuesday afternoon, RPD had yet to identify any suspects or persons of interest connected to any of the homicides. 

To Reedley residents, Garza said that while he understands there is going to be fear in the community because one or more people responsible for these crimes could be out there, he wants the community to know the police department is working diligently to solve this case. 

“I know there’s a lot of anxiety, a lot of uneasiness in the area, but I would say (to residents), rest assured the police department is doing all they can to protect them,” Garza said. “We want to bring closure to the families, so those are our priorities. And also the one thing that we want to do is ensure that someone is held responsible for these crimes.”

Anyone with information has been asked to contact RPD at 559-637-4250. Anonymous tips can be sent to RPD’s English tip line at 559-356-8690 or the Spanish tip line at 559-246-4183.

Background

In the morning of Jan. 6, Reedley police responded to a call about a potential burglary at a residence in the 1100 block of South Church Avenue. Upon conducting an initial search, police found two deceased individuals, later identified as 81-year-old Billy Bonds and 44-year-old Guadalupe Chavez Bonds. 

Later that day, a third deceased individual, who has not yet been officially identified by the coroner’s office, was found while police were processing the crime scene. All three individuals were found in the backyard of the home. 

RPD has not released a cause of death, but has said they believe firearms were involved and they have been investigating the deaths as homicides. 

Serena Bettis
General Assignment Reporter