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Two arrested in connection to murder of missing Salinas man after body found

SAN BENITO COUNTY, Calif. (KION) Two people have been arrested in connection to the murder of a missing man after his body was found.

On Jan. 6, deputies with the San Benito County Sheriff's Office found remains on Salinas Grade Road and said they were mostly skeletal. The body was taken to San Jose for an autopsy, and the body was identified as 29-year-old Saul Venegas.

Salinas police said Venegas was last seen leaving his home on Nov. 10.

Police search for missing Salinas man last seen in November

Saul Venegas

Salinas police and the San Benito County Sheriff's Office began working together on the investigation and identified two suspects, 39-year-old Jorge Martinez and 30-year-old Crystal Toney.

The Sheriff's Office said the two took the vehicle they believe was used in the murder to a storage locker in Brea, and local police helped investigators find it. During a search, investigators said multiple pieces of evidence related to the case were found by an FBI team in the Los Angeles office.

Law enforcement issued arrest warrants for Martinez and Toney, and Brea police found them at the storage facility on Feb. 10.

Detectives from San Benito County and Salinas traveled to the area to interview the suspects. The Sheriff's Office said they found evidence showing that Martinez was responsible for the murder of Venegas on or around the time he went missing, and they believe Toney assisted him. She is being charged as an accessory after the fact.

Both were moved to the San Benito County Jail on Sunday, and their arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Investigators said they are still investigating and pursuing leads for other suspects. Anyone with information is asked to call 831-636-4080, email Det. Jason Leist at or text TIP SBCSO to 888777.

Crime / Monterey County / Salinas / San Benito County / Top Stories

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.


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