Drive-By Victim Identified; Suspect Still at Large

Courtesy of Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department

Stanislaus County Coroner Division officials announced Monday that the man shot and killed in a Turlock watermelon field has been identified as 24-year-old Rigoberto Gonzalez-Solano. According to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, the suspect still remains at large.

On July 7, Eduardo Favian Maldonado, 42, is believed to have shot and killed Gonzalez-Solano in a drive-by shooting near the intersection of Simmons and Washington roads in West Turlock. Gonzalez-Solano was a migrant worker who had been living in Turlock for approximately five years.

According to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, Gonzalez-Solano and Maldonado’s wife were co-workers, and had just finished a day’s work in a watermelon field when they heard a vehicle approaching them at a high speed.

The driver of the vehicle, Maldonado, opened fire on both his wife and her co-worker – striking Gonzalez-Solano, and barely missing his wife.

Gonzalez-Solano was airlifted by Medi-Flight to Memorial Hospital in Modesto, where he died the next morning.

According to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, Maldonado still remains at large and was last seen driving a dark red or maroon 1999 four door Mercury Mystique, California license plate number 5FLX194.

Maldonado is currently wanted for murder, attempted murder, and attempted corporal injury on a spouse.

Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department deputies believe Maldonado may be fleeing to Mexico.

Anyone with information about this investigation, or Maldonado’s whereabouts, can call Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636. Tipsters can e-mail tips through the Crime Stoppers Web site,, or text tips to CRIMES (274637) by typing "Tip704" plus a message. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

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