Local

Two under arrest for murder of South Valley woman

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hanford Police arrested two suspects in the stabbing death of 49-year-old Denise McVay.

A 17-year-old will be charged with murder, car theft and robbery. While 18-year-old Mauricio Ortiz faces charges of accessory after the fact and destruction of evidence.

Thursday evening friends and family shared stories about Denise at Kings Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Hanford, where she worked for three years. They also celebrated the arrest of her alleged killer.

"I'm so proud of what my aunt has done to touch these people's hearts, to bring them together like this," said Eric Rodriguez, McVay's nephew. He attended the vigil along with Denise McVay's only daughter, Natasha and other family members. Natasha is also employed at Kings Nursing.

The family listened as McVay's co-workers and friends shared poems, prayers and stories of about the woman who they say was shy, but always positive. "She was in the perfect profession because of her personality and the way she loved and took care of her residents," said Celine Henning, whose mother is a resident at Kings Nursing.

McVay worked at Kings Nursing as a certified nursing assistant. "She will be missed by all of us, we love her dearly," said Lisa Ramirez, McVay's co-worker.

Thursday morning, Hanford Police announced the arrest of the 17-year-old murder suspect. His name and picture are being withheld due to his age. Police also arrested the teenager's alleged accomplice, 18-year-old Mauricio Ortiz.

Both teens are known Norteño gang members, with criminal backgrounds.

At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Hanford Police Chief Carlos Mestas said this is the most brutal murder case he's ever worked on. "This is, quite frankly killing for fun," the chief said.

McVay was stabbed more than 30 times at the Royal Car Wash in Hanford early Tuesday morning. Police said McVay tried to fight off her killer. Sadly, she died when her throat was slashed, according to police.

During police interviews, detectives said witnesses heard the murder suspect claim he wanted to kill somebody that night.

Hanford P.D. said their big break in this homicide came when a security guard at Tachi Palace in Lemoore spotted McVay's Honda Civic in their parking lot. Security footage, police said, shows the two suspects ditching McVay's car after they allegedly used McVay's own money to buy new clothes at a mall in Visalia.

McVay's family told Action News a burden has been lifted now that her alleged killer is in jail. "I wanted hurt towards them, but only the Lord can do that," Rodriguez said.

Police are hoping to charge the 17-year-old as an adult. The Kings County District Attorney said he is considering a push for the death penalty.

As for McVay's family, they're need assistance with Denise's funeral expenses.

A fund has been set up at the Educational Employees Credit Union under 'Denise McVay Memorial Fund.'

A car wash will also be held Sunday in front of Hanford Nursing. The address is 1007 W Lacey Blvd, Hanford.

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Donations can be made to the Educational Employees Credit Union under "Denise McKay Memorial Fund".

A car wash will also be held Sunday in front of Hanford Nursing. The address is 1007 W Lacey Blvd, Hanford.

(Copyright ©2014 KFSN-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
hanford, lemoore, murder, crimetracker, gang, local, rick montanez
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