Double Death Investigation: Merced Police Looking For A Shooter

Detectives in the North Valley have a double homicide mystery on their hands.

Merced police were looking into a call about a man on a bike with a gun early Saturday morning near the 400 block of W. 23rd Street, but what they found were two men, dead, in a neighborhood about a block away from the police department.

"I think it's sad. I have five kids of my own so it does scare me," said Elena Perez, who lives in the area where the bodies were found.

She says she remembers hearing something suspicious early Saturday morning.

"I just hear gunshots and my friend's all like 'did you hear that?' We came outside and didn't see nothing," said Perez.

The dead men were identified as 21-year-olds Luis Morales and Benjamin Marino.

Police don't know who shot them, or why, or even how they ended up dead, just a block away from the police department. The men don't live in the neighborhood.

"To us it doesn't matter where it happened, we have a tragedy to deal with, families are going to be grieving, and it's always tough this close to Christmas when you should be celebrating time with your family," said Lt. Tom Trinidad with the Merced Police Department.

Police hope the public will help them solve this double death.

"There's probably somebody in that neighborhood that may have seen something. Even if they think it wasn't important, we're still going to encourage them to contact the police department," said Lt. Trinidad.

If you know anything, call the Merced Police Department Tipster line at (209) 385-4725.

Or, you can send information in a text message, just text the word "COMVIP" to {}"tip411", that's 8-4-7-4-1-1.

You don't have to say who you are.