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Ronil Singh’s face smiles out from this year’s corn maze at Dutch Hollow Farms, Modesto

The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department’s Air 101 shot this photo of this season’s Dutch Hollow Farms corn maze in Modesto, which pays tribute to slain Newman Police Department Cpl. Ronil Singh.
The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department’s Air 101 shot this photo of this season’s Dutch Hollow Farms corn maze in Modesto, which pays tribute to slain Newman Police Department Cpl. Ronil Singh.

Newman police Cpl. Ronil Singh has been immortalized with the etching of his name among those of other fallen peace officers at memorials in Hughson and on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Now, in a more fleeting but still sincere salute, his name and face are part of a Modesto corn maze.

When Dutch Hollow Farms owner John Bos approached Anamika Singh about creating the maze in honor of her late husband, she was “100 percent behind it from the beginning,” he said.

The Modesto resident had just one condition: that their 1-year-old son, Arnav, be the first to walk it. “That tears your heart out, because my goodness. We became friends on Facebook and you can see how much she cared for that man,” Bos said.

So after a special season-opening ceremony Sept. 28, the little boy — with his mom almost certainly at his side — will stride a path among the stalks into which were cut his dad’s image and name. Bos said he hopes Ronil Singh’s K-9 partner joins them. “That would be really cool to have Sam there.”

Ideally, Sam would have been pictured in the maze, but the 10 acres the corn-cutting artist from MazePlay had to work with weren’t quite enough, Bos said.

For five years, Dutch Hollow has carved corn mazes with agricultural themes, famous faces like Golden State Warriors Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, and tributes to heroes.

“Every year on our Facebook page, we say, ‘What should we do?’ Last year, we did firefighters (to thank those who battled the state’s wildfires over the season). It’s not that we need to have something relevant and in the news every year, but someone brought up Ronil’s name and I was like, doggone, that would be really cool.”

Singh was killed during a traffic stop early Dec. 26, 2018, in Newman. Authorities say Paulo Virgen Mendoza shot Singh shortly after the corporal pulled him over near the intersection of Merced Street and Eucalyptus Avenue on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Mendoza was captured near Bakersfield after a 55-hour manhunt. He remains in custody as he awaits trial.

The Sept. 28 opening ceremony in the slain corporal’s honor will be at 9 a.m. Dutch Hollow Farms is beginning to plant flowers for a memorial at the maze entrance and is having a sign created with images of Singh.

He, and certainly the Singh family, would love it if members of the law enforcement community are able to be there for the ceremony, Bos said.

Dutch Hollow Farms is at 5101 Oakdale Road, at the corner of Claribel Road across from the Riverbank Crossroads shopping center. To learn more, go to dutchhollowfarms.com or facebook.com/dutchhollowfarms.

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Deke has been an editor and reporter with The Modesto Bee since 1995. He currently does breaking-news, education and human-interest reporting. A Beyer High grad, he studied geology and journalism at UC Davis and CSU Sacramento.
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