Home / Blog / Local man died from multiple gunshot wounds, medical examiner says

Local man died from multiple gunshot wounds, medical examiner says

Dec 02, 2023Dec 02, 2023

By Becca Whitnall | on October 21, 2022

The Los Angeles County medical examiner's office has determined the cause of death of Jose Velasquez, the Camarillo man whose body was found dumped off a private road near Malibou Lake: homicide.

UPENDED—The remains of Jose Velasquez, 35, were found Oct. 3 off Mulholland Highway between Calabasas and Agoura Hills wrapped in a tarp that was tied down with a bungee cord, said the man who made the discovery. Courtesy photo

In a report provided to the Acorn, the coroner said Velasquez, 35, died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. They list the location of death as "roadside," suggesting he might have been killed close by.

A husband and wife out for a hike discovered the body Oct. 3 near Mulholland Highway in unincorporated Los Angeles County between Agoura Hills and Calabasas. The man who found the body told the Acorn it was wrapped in a tarp that was tied down by a bungee cord.

Velasquez had been missing since late July.

Known by family members as "Toñito," Velasquez was last seen hanging out with friends at a Thousand Oaks restaurant on July 27 and last messaged family the morning of July 28. He was reported missing two days later.

Velasquez had recently started his own construction company and moved to Camarillo from Simi Valley. Friends and family described him as fun-loving and kind, and having just started to experience success at the time he went missing.

"I can't believe that this has happened to our family. To a person like Toñito who was full of life, hopes and dreams," said his cousin, who has asked to remain anonymous.

Police found Velasquez's work truck, a white Ram ProMaster 2500 High Roof, on July 28 parked on Rancho Conejo Boulevard in Newbury Park in front of a group of apartments. Neither his wallet nor phone were inside.

Velasquez's cousin said her family didn't know whether he knew anyone who lived in those apartments. They also said they weren't aware that he had any enemies.

The body was dumped off April Road, a private road 2.5 miles west of King Gillette Ranch between Agoura Hills and Calabasas.

A call to the Ventura County sheriff's detective assigned to the case was not immediately returned. Sgt. Cameron Henderson, department spokesperson, confirmed that investigators were aware of the medical examiner's report and said they were investigating the death as a homicide.

"We have no new details to share," Henderson said.

Of Honduran descent, Velasquez had a passion for soccer and played in various adult leagues around the area. He moved from Virginia, where his mother lives, to California to live with family in Simi Valley in 2016. He worked for a time at the Tilted Kilt in Thousand Oaks.

He had moved into his own apartment in Camarillo the week before he went missing.

A source privy to details of the investigation but who asked for anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case told the Acorn the police do have a suspect but an arrest had not yet been made.

Asked to confirm whether police had a suspect, Henderson responded: "No comment."

After coming to California to aid in the search for her son, the victim's mother, Rita Maldonaldo, has since returned to her home in Virginia. The family is raising money to cover the cost of transferring Toñito's remains across country so he can be buried closer to his mother.

Said Maldonaldo in a statement provided to the Acorn: "I am never going to understand why they harmed (Toñito) or why they cut (his) dreams. I ask God to give me strength to get to you where you are because you cannot come to me, but I can. I love you, my handsome boy. I will always carry you in my heart."

This story was updated at 5:34 p.m. Oct. 21, 2022.