Murder Investigation Opened In Colusa Rice Field Death

COLUSA COUNTY (CBS 13) – An apparent accidental electrical panel explosion that killed a Colusa County man was actually a deliberate act and a homicide investigation is being conducted, the sheriff’s department announced Wednesday.

Roberto Ayala, 43, of Grimes was found dead in a rice field near the 2047 Canal and Wescott Road in Colusa County on July 16 after he turned on an irrigation pump and the panel exploded. His 7-year-old son ran several miles through farm fields to find help, but Ayala died instantly from multiple penetrating shrapnel wounds and electrocution, according to the Colusa County Coroner’s Office.

The Colusa County Sheriff’s Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI are in the process of analyzing a tremendous amount of evidence that was recovered from the scene, according to sheriff’s Lt. Shane Maxey.

At least one person has been in contact with the Sheriff’s Department claiming credit for the bombing but authorities question whether it’s the person responsible because certain details of the explosion appear to be inaccurate.

Anyone with information about the bombing is encouraged to call a tip line that has been established for this incident. The number is 530-713-4304.


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