Three Arrested for Murder in Case of Missing Cloverdale Man
This is a press release from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:
Detectives from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office arrested three men in the murder of a missing Cloverdale man. The case began on July 2nd when a woman reported to the Cloverdale Police Department that her father Jose Martinez, had been missing since June 29th. She thought he may have gone on a fishing trip but got concerned when he hadn’t returned and his truck, a white Toyota Tacoma was also missing.
Officers from the Cloverdale Police Department issued a “be on the lookout” for Martinez and his truck to other law enforcement agencies. They also interviewed a number of family members and friends that indicated Martinez may have been involved in significant marijuana dealings, had been receiving threats lately and that this was likely more than just a routine missing person case. Detectives from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office were consulted and worked closely with Cloverdale PD in an attempt to locate Martinez.
At about 6:00 AM on July 17th, a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy found a truck matching the description of Martinez’s on Masterson Ct and Holiday St in Santa Rosa. The truck had the license plates removed and they had been swapped out with paper dealer license plates.
When the deputy ran the vehicle’s identification number, he found that this was the truck registered to Martinez. Detectives from the Sheriff’s Office were called and started their investigation into the truck and how it ended up there.
Through investigative efforts and witness interviews detectives identified three suspects:
Socorro Sierra, 34 of Healdsburg;
Felix Fernando Carreon, 43 of Santa Rosa and
Climmie Smith-Hill, 30 of Santa Rosa. Detectives learned that Martinez and Socorro had significant marijuana dealings and the Sierra had recently threatened Martinez over a disputed business transaction.
Through a number of interviews Sheriff’s Detectives learned that Martinez went to Ray’s Food Place on Cloverdale Blvd in Cloverdale at about 8:00 AM on June 29th. Detectives believe Martinez was kidnapped from the front of the store by the three men in a dark sedan. Martinez was driven to the top of Geysers Road near the Cal Pine geothermal plant. Sierra walked Martinez to a remote location by a creek where he shot him to death with a handgun. Sierra walked back to the car where he met with Carreon and Smith-Hill. He drove them back to Santa Rosa and dropped them off.
On Saturday, June 30th Sierra returned to the creek where he had left Martinez’s body. Sierra wrapped the body in a tarp and brought it back to his car. He then transported Martinez’s body to Healdsburg at a marijuana garden in the 2100 block of West Dry Creek Road. Sierra, with the help of Carreon, rented a back hoe and brought it to the property where they dug an approximate 5-6 foot deep hole. They placed Martinez’s body in the hole and covered him with dirt.
Detectives learned about the location of the buried body in the marijuana garden. Yesterday, July 18th, detectives went to the property and, using a back hoe and shovels, unearthed Martinez’s body that was located under about five feet of dirt. Martinez’s body was transported to the Sonoma County Coroner’s Office pending an autopsy.
Carreon had been arrested on July 10th at about 12:15 AM in the area of Marlow and Jennings Ave in Santa Rosa on unrelated drug charges.
Sierra was arrested in the parking lot of the Guerneville Rd. Safeway Shopping Center on July 17th at 3:45 PM. A handgun, believed to be used in the homicide, was located inside Socorro’s vehicle at that time.
Smith-Hill was arrested at the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office on July 18th at 1:00 AM after an interview. All three men were booked on charges of murder, kidnapping and conspiracy and are being held without bail.
In this press release, pictured first is Sierra and Carreon is last.