Family's plea: Find murderer responsible for killing of special needs man

A Modesto family is pleading for the public's help to solve a murder mystery.

Someone killed 24-year-old Salvador Rodriguez. He was mentally disabled and had the mental capacity of a 10-year-old.

Rodriguez's body was discovered in an open field near a Highway 99 off-ramp in Modesto on May 17, a week after he was last seen by his family members. A nearby resident called police after smelling a foul odor.

"There's not one bad soul in this boy's body. Nobody deserves this, let alone him," a relative of Rodriguez said. The relative did not want to be identified.

The relative said the family is in shock that someone would kill a harmless young man who was mentally disabled.

"He was very smart, very intelligent, but he trusted everyone and anyone," the relative said.

Many people in the community knew him because he volunteered at the library in downtown Modesto.

Family and friends are pleading with the community to help find his killer. They believe Rodriguez was targeted because of his disability and they want the person to be held responsible.

The family plans to hold a car wash from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Wednesday at the 76 gas station on McHenry and Bowen Avenues in Modesto. They are trying to raise money for funeral costs.

A cause of death has not been released. Anyone with any information on the case is urged to contact the Modesto Police Department.


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