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April 14, 2021

Watsonville homicide suspect arrested at Gilroy motel

A man wanted for reportedly killing his brother in Watsonville was arrested at a Gilroy motel Thursday.

Francisco Diaz, 55, was pronounced dead at the scene of a family disturbance on the 100 block of Delaney Avenue in the outskirts of Watsonville late Tuesday night.

The suspect was identified as Francisco’s brother, 38-year-old Seledonio Diaz of Watsonville, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Ashley Keehn said. 

Through the investigation, detectives learned Seledonio Diaz was staying at the King’s Rest Motel, 8175 Monterey Road in Gilroy.

On Thursday at around 1pm, after several hours barricaded in a room speaking with negotiators, Seledonio Diaz surrendered peacefully and was taken into custody with the help of the Gilroy Police Department, Gilroy-Morgan Hill Regional SWAT Team, Gilroy Police Department negotiators and Santa Clara Police Department.

Gilroy Police issued a Nixle alert just before noon Thursday, urging residents to avoid the area.

Seledonio is being booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail for murder.

On Tuesday just after 9:40pm, deputies received reports of a family disturbance. The initial arriving deputies located Francisco Diaz deceased at the scene, Keehn said.

The method of the homicide has not been revealed.

Delaney Avenue is one block east of the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds and stems off of East Lake Avenue.

On Wednesday morning Sheriff’s deputies, investigators and a forensic team were on Delaney Avenue picking through a large ranch-style, single-story home for clues. The home, surrounded with yellow crime scene tape, is situated on a sprawling lot with a sweeping horseshoe-shaped driveway, heaps of belongings strewn about and a large trampoline on the lawn. A large patch of the front garden had been torn up and was covered with plastic. Several neighbors in the otherwise quiet neighborhood stood nearby watching the investigation unravel.

Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call Sgt. Detective Burnett at 831.454.7702.

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