Modesto police make arrest in last week's stabbing death

local@modbee.comSeptember 17, 2012 

Forrest Eric Heath

(Modesto Police Department) Forrest Eric Heath, 31, was booked into Stanislaus County Jail on one count of murder. He's suspected of stabbing to death Jimmy Espinoza, whose body was found near the Modesto senior center on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012.

— A Modesto man already in jail on a separate charge was rearrested Monday night in connection with last week’s fatal stabbing near the city’s senior center, authorities said.

Forrest Eric Heath, 31, was booked into Stanislaus County Jail on one count of murder. He had been recently arrested on an unrelated case and was currently in custody, according to Lt. Rick Armendariz of the Modesto Police Department.

Heath is suspected of killing Jimmy Espinoza, 31, whose body was discovered early Wednesday afternoon in an alley off Melrose Street near the Modesto Senior Citizens Center.

Espinoza died from at least one stab wound, police said.

Following up on leads, homicide detectives discovered Espinoza had been having an ongoing dispute with Heath.

In a press release, Armendariz said detectives interviewed Heath, and learned he had been “involved in a violent altercation with Espinoza and had fatally stabbed” him.

Armendariz could not be reached for further comment on Monday night regarding the exact details of the incident and the nature of Heath’s prior arrest.

Police ask that those with information about the case call Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

Tipsters can also text information to Crime Stoppers by sending a text message to 274637. Just type “TIP704” along with your message.

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