Crime, Fire + Courts

Suspect, ‘person of interest’ sought in Woodland homicide

By From page A1 | March 21, 2014


Julio Demetrio Gayton

Woodland police say they’ve identified both a suspect and a person of interest in connection with Tuesday’s stabbing death of 33-year-old Scott Michael Zumbrum.

Investigators have obtained an arrest warrant charging Julio Demetrio Gayton, 26, with homicide, Sgt. Brett Hancock said in a news release issued Thursday afternoon. A second person, 23-year-old Jesse Armando Tapia, is being sought as a person of interest, Hancock said. He also is wanted for being a parolee at large and has a pending arrest warrant out of New Mexico.

“He may also end up being involved in the homicide,” Woodland police Lt. Anthony Cucchi said of Tapia, who is from Woodland and, like Gayton, is known to local law-enforcement. But for now, “we definitely know he was there, and we do need to speak with him.”

Gayton, who also has ties to West Sacramento, is described as a Hispanic male, 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds, with short black hair and brown eyes. He has tattoos of an upside-down spade at the corner of one eye and the name “Angelo” on his left arm.

Tapia also is a Hispanic male, 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, with short black hair and brown eyes, with star tattoos on his forehead and temple areas and “RIP Billy” on his forearm. A photo released by Woodland police also shows a piercing below his lower lip.

Both men should be considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached, police say. Anyone with information about their whereabouts should call the Woodland Police Department at 530-661-7800 or 530-666-2411. Callers may remain anonymous.

Cucchi said Zumbrum, a parolee, had lived in Woodland for less than six months when he died from the Tuesday night stabbing in the 600 block of Elm Street. Moments earlier, police had received reports of a physical altercation in that area, where modest homes sit on one side of the street, an elementary school on the other.

Zumbrum “was down on the ground soon after,” Cucchi said earlier this week. He received medical aid but died at the scene, marking Woodland’s first homicide of 2014.

As for the motive in the killing, that remains under investigation, Cucchi said.

— Reach Lauren Keene at [email protected] or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

Lauren Keene

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