Three Arrested In Pleasant Hill Homicide

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

On Friday, May 31, 2024, Pleasant Hill Police Investigators arrested three people in connection with the February 10, 2024, stabbing death of Santiago Jacobo.

Pablo Gutierrez-Morales, 31, Concord; Vanessa Vera-Aguilar, 24, Antioch; and Jazmin Ruiz, 25, Antioch; have been booked into the Contra Costa County Jail in Martinez under the charges of Murder and Conspiracy to Commit Murder.

During a three month-long investigation, Pleasant Hill Police detectives obtained evidence indicating the victim and suspects knew each other as they all worked together at The Watermark at San Ramon, an assisted living facility.

The evidence shows that the arrested suspects planned, coordinated, and carried out the attack on Jacobo on the night of February 10, 2024, after Jacobo had finished his shift working as a custodian at Pleasant Hill Park.

Detectives determined that prior to Jacobo’s murder, he had been in a relationship with suspect Vanessa Vera-Aguilar while another suspect, Pablo Gutierrez-Morales, was pursuing a new relationship with her.

Police detectives are asking anyone with information regarding Jacobo’s death and the involved suspects to contact the Pleasant Hill Police Investigations Bureau at (925) 288-4630.

Our thoughts and condolences remain with the Jacobo family.

The Pleasant Hill Police Department would like to thank the San Ramon Police Department for their assistance. We would also like to thank the Pleasant Hill Recreation and Parks District for their ongoing assistance throughout this homicide investigation.

Feb 13 : Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District Mourns Death of Facility Maintenance Employee

PLEASANT HILL, CA, – The Pleasant Hill Recreation and Park District (PHRPD) mourns the tragic homicide of Santiago Jacobo, 37, a PHRPD employee who was found deceased on Saturday morning at approximately 4:50 a.m., February 10, 2024, in the main parking lot of Pleasant Hill Park. The park was closed temporarily while police conducted their initial investigation and cleared the area and surrounding buildings. Pleasant Hill Park re-opened Saturday at midday.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by Santiago Jacobo’s death,” said PHRPD General Manager, Michelle Lacy. “PHRPD has been in existence for over 70 years and nothing like this has ever happened before. Our deepest condolences go out to his wife, two children, and extended family.”

Jacobo began working for PHRPD in October 2019 and was a dedicated member of PHRPD’s facilities maintenance custodial crew who clean and keep the buildings in top shape for the community. Santiago worked weekend and evening shifts as a secondary job to support his family.

“Santiago was an all-around good guy and everyone on our team enjoyed working with him,” said PHRPD Lead Custodian and co-worker, Jose Martinez. “He was dependable, a hard worker, and had a great “can-do” attitude. He will be missed.”

Michelle Lacy, General Manager made the announcement to staff early Monday morning, providing therapy and mental health resources for all employees to help cope with sudden loss and traumatic events. Lacy will also meet with staff to identify additional safety protocols that may be necessary to mitigate future risk.

“Our number one priority is the health, safety, and well-being of our staff and the public”, said Michelle Lacy.

PHRPD is working closely with the Pleasant Hill Police Department on this active homicide investigation. The suspect in this case is currently unknown. If anyone has any information related to this case, please contact the Pleasant Hill Police Department at (925) 288-4630.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.