Tatyanna Mariah Lopez

Police released the name and photo of a man who allegedly shot and killed Gilroy native Tatyanna Mariah Lopez and her unborn child in an April incident in Merced.

The Merced Police Department on July 16 posted on Facebook that officers are looking for Jonathan Xavier Dorado, 19, of Los Banos, in relation to the April 18 murder of 19-year-old Lopez, who was more than eight months pregnant when she was shot to death. Injured in the shooting was Lopez’s boyfriend, Angel Legrande, 20, who has not cooperated with investigators, according to police.

Jonathan Xavier Dorado

The shooting occurred outside a residence on the 1400 block of Conestoga Drive in Merced, about 9:50pm April 18. Through their “diligent efforts” in recent months investigating the case, Merced Police detectives identified Lopez’s murderer as Dorado, says the July 16 social media post. A warrant has been issued for Dorado’s arrest, and police are asking for help from the public locating him.

Lopez and Legrande were living together in Los Banos at the time of the shooting.

Lopez had about two weeks left in her pregnancy, according to her grandmother, Anna Navarro, who lives in Gilroy. She was going to name her daughter Alyanna.

“We were planning a baby shower for the next Saturday (April 24) but we had a candlelight vigil instead,” Navarro said.

Navarro and other family members continue to have monthly vigils in Lopez’s memory, and she visits her granddaughter’s burial site in Gilroy every day. The family is trying to spread the word far and wide about Lopez’s death in order to help find her killer.

Lopez was the oldest of six siblings born in Gilroy. She attended Rod Kelley Elementary School, Gilroy High and Mount Madonna High School, said Navarro, who raised Lopez for many years throughout her childhood.

Lopez moved to Los Banos as a teenager, and graduated from Valley High School in 2019.

Gilroy native Tatyanna Mariah Lopez was more than eight months pregnant when she was shot and killed in Merced on April 18. Photo: Submitted

She worked at the Gilroy Premium Outlets, and wanted to go into the medical field, Navarro added.

Navarro said on April 18, Lopez and Legrande were visiting the home of an acquaintance of Legrande’s. She said the shooting may have been the result of a previous feud involving Legrande and a male resident of the home versus another individual or individuals.

Lopez’s family has been frustrated at what they see as a lack of information or updates on the investigation coming from police.

Merced Police Department Sgt. Kalvin Haygood said last week that officers couldn’t release more information to the public because of the sensitive nature of the ongoing homicide investigation. The release of Dorado’s name and photo as a suspect on July 16 was the first public update on the case since April.

Navarro said Lopez would not have been involved in any previous altercations or crimes that might have led up to the April 18 shooting.

To the contrary, the teen preferred spending time with family at barbecues and other gatherings, watching Netflix and hanging out with her five siblings, Navarro said. She used to call Navarro every day, and tell her grandmother about “everything.”

“These kinds of things don’t happen to a girl who is 19 and pregnant,” Navarro said. “She was a great girl. She loved to stay home. The sweetest person you could ever meet. She had this infectious smile that would melt your heart, and she was looking forward to being a mom.”

Anyone with information about this incident or Dorado’s whereabouts can call Merced Police at 209.388.7712.

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Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.


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