Ex-wife of police officer arrested in connection with his murder

Slain officer's ex-wife arrested in connection with his death in Central Valley town

The ex-wife of a Central Valley police officer has been arrested in connection with his murder, the Tulare County Sheriff's Department said Saturday. 

Erika Sandoval, 23, of Visalia was arrested about 5 p.m. on suspicion of murder, Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said during a news conference.

Sandoval was taken into custody a day after homicide detectives began investigating the shooting death of Daniel Green, an 11-year veteran of the Exeter Police Department.

"We are confident that we have the sole person responsible for this homicide," Boudreaux said. "The evidence tonight has concluded that she is the person responsible for the death of Officer Green."

Green, 31, was found dead Friday with multiple gunshot wounds at his home in Goshen.  Boudreaux said co-workers went to his house to check on him after he failed to show up for work. 

Exeter Police Chief Cliff Bush said the shooting has shaken the small department.

"It hurts deeply," he said. "We're all grieving.

"But we're slowly realizing that this is real and we're going to have to deal with this for quite a while."

Boudreaux said homicide investigators have recovered a weapon they believe may have been used in the crime. He said they also have a motive for the shooting but declined to say because of the ongoing investigation.

Green and Sandoval divorced more than two years ago. They shared custody of a 2-year-old-child who has been placed in the care of family members.

Bush said Green was a smart and well-rounded officer who served as a mentor to others and helped train many of the new officers.

"I watched him grow and mature as a human being and a police officer," Bush said. "it was almost like watching my own son grow."

Boudreaux said investigators will present the case to the Tulare County district attorney on Monday. 

For more Southern California news follow @LATVives 

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
63°