Location: Hwy. 190 W/O Wishon Rd., Springville
Incident Date: 03-12-16
Case Number: 16-03274
Posted by: Media Relations
Victim: Armando Adrian Taffoya - 29 Years
On 5-25-16, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office received information from the Department of Justice that the DNA profile from the skeletal remains were positively identified as being Armando Adrian Taffoya, 29 years old out of the Tranquility area, in Fresno County.
This case is an active homicide investigation and anyone with information on the homicide is encouraged to contact Detective Chris Gezzer at (559) 735-1903. Anyone with information can also call the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 733-6218 or 1-800-808-0488. Anyone with information can remain anonymous by calling TIP NOW at (559) 725-4194 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On 5-17-16 the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office received a report from the forensic anthropology lab at Chico State regarding the human skeletal remains located in the mountain area above Springville on 3-12-16.
The remains are reported to be a white or white/Hispanic-mix male, 30-50 years old, 5-8 to 5-10 tall with brown hair and teeth that were in an advanced state of decay. It was estimated the remains were at the location 18-24 months.
The California Department of Justice is currently in the process of extracting DNA from the remains to be placed in the Missing Persons System in hopes of identifying the victim.
This case is an active homicide investigation and anyone with information on the homicide or the identity of the victim is encouraged to contact the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 733-6218 or 1-800-808-0488. Anyone with information can remain anonymous by calling TIP NOW at (559) 725-4194 or email@example.com.
Original press release:
On 3-12-16 at approximately 1517 hours, Deputies were dispatched to an area on Highway 190 above Springville regarding the possible discovery of human remains.
Deputies responded to the area and met with the reporting person who stated he was hiking in the mountain area north of Highway 190 and west of Wishon Road, in Springville, when he discovered a human skull. Deputies responded to the area described by the reporting person and discovered human skeletal remains. Detectives and Crime Lab personnel responded to the area to take over the investigation.
Detectives and Crime Lab personnel collected the skeletal remains along with several items of clothing and transported them to the Tulare County Coroner’s Office for further examination.
On 3-16-16, an examination was conducted on the skeletal remains and the cause of death was ruled to be an apparent gunshot wound to the head. Further examination of the remains could not determine if the decedent was male or female. The decedent was determined to be between 21 and 35 years of age with brown hair and a small framed stature. The decedent had visible dental work and obvious decay to the upper left incisor tooth. The clothing is described as light weight dark colored flannel pants and a dark colored light weight long sleeve shirt with a hood.
The skeletal remains are being sent to a forensic anthropology lab for further testing to identify the decedent.