Release Date/Time: 4/11/2019 12:35 PM
Incident: Norteno Gang Member Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison for 2015 Homicide of Salinas Missing Person
Date: December 12, 2015
Location: 2200 Block of N. Main St.
Norteño Gang Member Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison for 2015 Homicide of Salinas Missing Person.
Tai Agoun Cruz (26), was sentenced to 35 years in prison yesterday for his involvement in a homicide case in which the victim's remains have never been found. On February 20, 2019, Cruz pled guilty to one count of voluntary manslaughter with gang and use of a firearm enhancements. The homicide took place on December 12, 2015 at a party in the 2200 block of North Main Street where other Norteño gang members where present. Victim Paulino Guzman III (18) was shot and killed at the party. Cruz has refused to reveal where the body may be located. Guzman was initially reported as a missing person and there were few investigative leads.
Eye witnesses later came forward and new forensic evidence was located. Detectives dedicated countless hours in this investigation, interviewing multiple witnesses, serving several search warrants and analyzing digital and forensic evidence. The work and diligence of the SPD Crime Scene Investigation Unit led by Criminalist Patrick Haney was critical and essential in leading to the arrest of Cruz especially in this homicide investigation where the victim's body has not been found.
Detectives are certain there are individuals who know the whereabouts of Paulino's body. Detectives, along with the Guzman family and the Monterey County District Attorney's Office, are pleading that anyone with information to please contact the Salinas Police Department's Investigations Bureau at (831) 758-7226 or, if you wish to remain anonymous, call the Salinas PD Tip Line at (831) 775-4222. Detectives are more interested in your information than your identity.
Release Authorized by: Miguel Cabrera