Neighbor describes scene, search of house near homicide

August 31, 2009 

Nestor Sander said he gets up frequently in the night to use the restroom.

When he awoke at about 2:30 early Monday morning, he found himself in the middle of a homicide investigation.

“I saw these lights flashing in my back yard, so I went to the backdoor and shouted,” Sander said. “They said it’s the police, so I opened the door. They asked me to go outside, and they came in and got muddy footprints all over my house. They said they were looking for some bad guys. They didn’t mention murder to me."

Sander lives on Temescal Drive in east Modesto, a few doors away from where police eventually arrested suspects believed to be involved in a double-homicide that occurred around midnight.

Police said two people were killed on Maxine Drive, and their pursuit of the suspects eventually led them to Temescal, about a mile away.

Officers set up a four-street perimeter going about a mile from north to south from Floyd Avenue to Merle Avenue and a quarter-mile east to west from Lincoln Oak Drive to Roselle Avenue.

In addition to police, there also was a search helicopter beaming its bright light throughout the neighborhood.

“It was quite an experience,” Sander said. “I wasn’t really afraid. I was a little apprehensive before I knew they were police. ... They did a good job.”

The Stanislaus County Office of Emergency Services began sending out messages to residents, advising them to remain in their houses while police searched the area.

Sander, after police had searched his house, received his phone call about 30 minutes later.


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