Teen arrested in rape, murder of Modesto care home resident

Modesto Police on Thursday arrested a teenager in the 2017 murder and rape of a woman who lived at a mental health facility off of Carver Road.

Jenny Wu, 41, was found without clothing on the morning of April 21, 2017, positioned between a utility box and a fence in an alley off Evergreen Avenue near Carver Road. She’d been asphyxiated.

Detectives collected DNA as part of their investigation and recently got a match from the Department of Justice Crime Lab that, along with other evidence, led to the arrest of 18-year-old Seth Becknel, according to a press release. He was 17 at the time of the murder.

Wu had been reported missing the evening before from nearby Modesto Residential Living Center, a mental health facility. Investigators believe she was out for a walk when she was attacked.

Wu was a Bay Area resident before entering the center.

Becknel lived near the facility at the time of the killing but had since moved to Patterson.

He is being held in the Stanislaus County Jail without bail on charges of murder and rape.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward. Tipsters may also visit the crime Stopper’s website at or download the P3 app to provide tips.

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Erin has been covering breaking news and crime at The Modesto Bee since 2010. She is a Humboldt State graduate and resides in Oakdale.