The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office identified the woman found burnt to death on the side of a rural Morgan Hill road Aug. 28 as Julie Teresa Calocci, 35 of San Jose. Investigators have not released any additional information about the apparent homicide. No potential suspects have yet been identified. Authorities responded to the area of Oak Glen Avenue and Uvas Road about 8 a.m. Aug. 28 in response to a call reporting someone was on fire about 30 feet off the side of the road. The caller, a passing motorist, saw smoke off the side of the road, and was concerned it might have been a grass fire, authorities said. The motorist stopped to investigate and saw a body on fire in the brush.Sheriff’s deputies, paramedics and fire personnel arrived and found a smoldering grass fire and a body down an embankment, according to authorities. Paramedics pronounced Calocci dead upon arrival, police said. Friends of Calocci’s have set up a site at gofundme.com to raise money for her burial expenses. “Julie was a California native that loved her children, friends and family (and) she enjoyed the outdoors, music, the beach,” reads a message on the site. Money raised through the site will be used “for a proper memorial and cremation service.”The site can be found at gofundme.com/dyx3js.Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area of Oak Glen Avenue, Uvas Road and Chesbro Reservoir about 8 a.m. Aug. 28 can call the sheriff's office anonymous tip line at (408) 808-4431.
Friends and family are still shocked by the loss of Morgan Hill resident Jason McArthur, 34, who died in a traffic accident Aug. 30 after his vehicle was struck by a suspected drunken driver during the Labor Day weekend. The accident also placed McArthur’s fiancée, Kendra Jones, 42 of Morgan Hill, in a San Jose hospital in critical condition with numerous “major injuries,” according to police. The couple had just become engaged to be married Aug. 22.Friends of Jones’ family set up a fundraising account at gofundme.com to help with Jones’ medical expenses and care for her two youngest daughters, according to Jones’ son, Jesse Marshall. Jones remained in intensive care as of Sept. 3, but she is expected to make a “full physical recovery,” Marshall said. When the accident happened, the couple were returning from the home of one of McArthur’s relatives, where they had been making wedding plans, Marshall said. McArthur was a steadfast, loving and positive influence for Jones and her family, Marshall said. He was a mentor for her two youngest daughters—whom he considered his own children—helping them with school work and encouraging them to play sports.“He stepped in and was the best thing that ever happened to my family,” Marshall said. “He was very involved in and insistent on my sisters’ productivity and school work. I don’t know what I would have done the last year without him. He was a huge support system.”The driver who struck McArthur’s Jeep Wrangler in the accident is in custody at Santa Clara County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail, according to Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Steve Lowney. Raymond Escudero, IV, 24 of San Martin, was arrested shortly after the accident by California Highway Patrol officers on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. His first court appearance was scheduled for Sept. 4 at South County Courthouse in Morgan Hill. As of the Times’ deadline Sept. 3, Lowney did not know what charges are pending against Escudero. Police say McArthur was driving his Jeep northbound on Santa Teresa Boulevard, just south of Native Dancer Drive, when his vehicle was struck by an Acura driven by Escudero, also traveling north. Both vehicles lost control after the initial collision. McArthur was pronounced dead at the scene. Jones, his passenger, was transported to the hospital. Escudero was uninjured, and his passenger, a 23-year-old San Martin woman, was transported to the hospital with minor injuries, according to authorities. The accident happened about 1 a.m. Aug. 30. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.Jones suffered numerous fractured bones and internal injuries, Marshall said. She has endured three surgeries since the accident. A photo on the newly created fundraising website shows a photograph of the smiling couple at the beach the day after McArthur proposed—“obviously on one of the happiest days...we have all had together,” said Jones’ daughter Britiny Marshall.Under the photo is a message that reads in part, “We are asking for your help in donating to help the families with medical bills and general needs for Kendra's two young daughters.”As of Sept. 3, the page gofundme.com/dxsumw had raised more than $5,000 from 49 individual donations. The site has been shared extensively through social media since it went live earlier this week.Labor Day is annually a busy weekend for traffic congestion, accidents and DUI related injuries and deaths. During the annual “Avoid the 13” summertime DUI crackdown from Aug. 15 to Sept. 1, law enforcement agencies throughout Santa Clara County arrested 302 motorists on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to Sheriff’s Sgt. Kurtis Stenderup. “The enforcement was part of the national ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign to save lives and make our roads safer,” Stenderup said in a press release.
The Hollister-Gilroy office of the California Highway Patrol will conduct a DUI and driver license checkpoint in San Martin from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Aug. 15.The checkpoint will take place on westbound Masten Avenue at Manna Way, according to a press release from the CHP. CHP officers trained in the detection of alcohol and drug impaired drivers will staff the sobriety checkpoint, according to the release. A CHP Drug Recognition Expert, certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), will be on site to provide assessments of any drivers suspected of drug use. Officers will have use of preliminary alcohol screening devices to accurately analyze breath samples.Drivers passing through the checkpoint will be checked for impairment and arrested if determined to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, police said.This checkpoint is funded by a grant known as Alcohol Enforcement, Reduction, and Traffic Safety (ALERTS), authorities said. Funding for this grant is made possible through the California Office of Traffic Safety through the NHTSA.
The 20th annual Railroad Garden Tour, a fundraiser for the St. Joseph’s Center and the Community Food Pantry, will take place throughout South Santa Clara County and North San Benito County Saturday, Aug. 16. The eight-stop self-guided tour features local model railroad displays and gardens at area businesses and residences. The tour starts at the Llagas Creek Railway on Llagas Road in Morgan Hill, and continues to numerous stops in Gilroy including Garden Accents Nursery, Big Iron Garden Railroad and the Mount Madonna Railroad. The tour concludes at the Smith Family Railroad in Prunedale. Donations to the Railroad Garden Tour will benefit the St. Joseph’s Center in Gilroy and the Community Food Pantry. For more information, call (408) 848-1440 or (408) 842-1843, or send an email to [email protected]
Queensryche with Geoff Tate played their farewell concert Aug. 9 at the Morgan Hill Downtown Amphitheater to a nearly sold out crowd (about 2,500). The show was part of Morgan Hill nonprofit ARTTEC’s Festival of the Arts, a series of concerts throughout August celebrating the organization’s 10th anniversary. This Saturday, Aug. 16, ARTTEC will present the “Music for Heroes” benefit concert at the same venue, 17000 Monterey Road. The concert will feature Kiefer Sutherland with his band ZZ Lightfoot, Tommy Tutone, Polo Jones & Lighthouse for the Blind and Davey Pattison’s Gamma+. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to http://www.eventbrite.com/e/music-for-heroes-tickets-11756005529.
A burglar was caught in the act when officers responded to an alarm call at a residence in northwest Morgan Hill Tuesday, Aug. 5, according to a press release.Officers responded to the burglary in progress call about 11 a.m. on the 18000 block of Murphy Springs Drive, police said. Officers determined the suspect, later identified as Loran Green-Silveira, 25 of Morgan Hill, was still inside the residence.MHPD K-9 police dog Sony helped officers convince Green-Silveira to surrender to authorities, police said. Green-Silveira was on probation, and officers found several stolen items from previous Morgan Hill and Gilroy burglaries in his possession. Green-Silveira was booked at Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of possession of stolen property, violation of probation and trespassing. Police said the incident is a reminder to residents to make secure, detailed lists of valuable items contained in their homes, with pictures, serial numbers and descriptions. Doing so will help investigators when homes are burglarized. Anyone with information about this incident can call MHPD at (408) 779-2101.
A San Jose man is wanted in connection with “multiple burglaries” recently reported throughout Santa Clara County—including at least one in Morgan Hill, according to police. The suspect, David Pietrzak, 50, was seen driving away from a home on San Benito Road in Morgan Hill July 29. The home had just been burglarized, according to Morgan Hill police reports. He was seen driving away in a four-door 1997 Infiniti sedan. MHPD officers released Pietrzak’s in an effort to find him for questioning in a number of recent reported burglaries. Anyone with information about this case or who has information about Pietrzak’s whereabouts can contact MHPD at (408) 779-2101 or the anonymous tip line at (408) 947-7867.
Police arrested an Oakland man on suspicion of shooting a male victim in a quiet southwest Morgan Hill neighborhood July 25, according to a press release. Robert Johnson, 24, was arrested Aug. 4 by Morgan Hill police officers in Oakland, with the assistance of Alameda County Probation, police said. Johnson was booked on suspicion of attempted homicide and robbery. About 8 p.m. July 25, MHPD officers responded to a call reporting a single shot fired in the area of the 15000 block of La Alameda Drive, authorities said. Police arrived and found the victim, also an Oakland man, suffering from a single gunshot wound to the stomach. The victim was airlifted to an area hospital for treatment for the wound which was not life-threatening, police said. The suspect and victim knew each other and were involved in a dispute before the shooting, police said. After the single gunshot was fired, the suspect—later identified as Johnson—fled the scene in a Toyota Camry, according to authorities. Anyone with information about this incident can call MHPD at (408) 779-2101 or the anonymous tip line at (408) 947-7867.
Two days after a slate of events on Cinco de Mayo outside Live Oak High School carried a cloud of potential disruption but ended without incident, there was a return to normalcy for the school’s approximately 1,100 students and faculty.
Tickets sold out for Morgan Hill’s sixth annual Wine Stroll held Saturday making it one of the most successful events ever for the Morgan Hill Downtown Association. Trying to keep up with the ever-increasing demand, the MHDA offered 1,250 tickets for the event, 250 more than last year.