STOCKTON (CBS13) — The San Joaquin County sheriff wants to hire two new detectives to investigate cold cases.
This comes after a grand jury report found the number of unsolved murders and rapes in the county keeps growing. On Tuesday, CBS13 caught up with the family of a man who was shot and killed in Stockton more than 10 years ago. There have been no major developments in his case.
David Zenon’s son Jason Zenon was killed and left in a rural area just off the intersection of 8 Mile Road and Rio Blanco Road near Stockton in 2007. The Zenon family has never given up looking for answers.
“As long as I’m breathing, there’s going to be work done. As long as there’s information to be had, I’m going to seek that information,” David Zenon said.
Jason would have been in his mid-thirties if he were alive today.
“The guy would help anyone in need. Didn’t really worry about what was in it for him. That’s Jason,” his father said.
David Zenon said he’s well aware San Joaquin County authorities have a staffing problem when it comes to cold cases. He thinks the problem goes deeper than that.
“I don’t think they have the rapport with the public that they need,” Zenon said.
Last week, a grand jury identified more than 500 open cold case investigations in San Joaquin County. But the jury said there are likely many more because the county doesn’t have a standard tracking system and no team dedicated to solving them.
“It’s tough to swallow. That the situation when their cold caseload is that high. So that means there’s been some ball-dropping somewhere,” David Zenon said.
The sheriff plans to add two cold case investigators to his team still needs approval from the board of supervisors. If they sign off on funding, those investigators would start work next month. Meanwhile, Zenon said he’s done most of the leg work on his son’s case.
‘I’m giving them the support to do what they do, but I think there should have been some results by now,” he said.
The sheriff says solving cold cases is one of his top priorities, but the sheriff’s office cannot comment on the Zenon case because it might be reopened in the future.