Arrest made body identified in bizarre Stockton murder

Bryan Cook Courtesy Stockton PD

Bryan Cook
Courtesy Stockton PD

STOCKTON, CA – A man’s torso that was discovered in a campfire in Groveland has been identified and two men have been arrested in this bizarre incident that took place in Stockton’s Weston Ranch neighborhood.

According to the Stockton Police Department, on Thursday officers responded to a possible homicide at 4503 Mist Trail Drive.

When officers arrived they discovered the tenants had vacated the premises, but as officers checked the home, they found evidence of a bloody crime scene but no body.

Detectives were called in to investigate and were able to conclude that a homicide had occurred at the home. Investigators were able to gather enough information to identify a possible suspect and track him down to Tuolumne County.

Valentina Paz

Valentina Paz

The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department was called in to assist and deputies were able to locate 38-year-old Bryan Cook at a campsite in Groveland.

Stockton Police Detectives responding to the campsite discovered a human torso in the campfire where Cook was detained. Detectives also discovered dismembered body parts in Cook’s vehicle located at the campground.

Cook was arrested on suspicion of homicide and booked at the San Joaquin County Jail.

Home of murder Google Maps

Home of murder
Google Maps

Stockton Police Detectives obtained a warrant for the campsite and located a dismembered body of an unidentified adult male in the suspect’s vehicle. The body was later identified as belonging to 48-year-old Michael Shane Jones of Stockton.

On Saturday 49-year-old Valentina Paz was also arrested in connection to the murder. According to neighbors both Paz and Cook lived at the Mist Trail home. Some neighbors believed at least four people lived in the home.

This is still an active investigation and the motive for the killing is unknown. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Stockton Police Department at (209) 937-8377, Crime Stoppers at (209) 946-0600, or submit a tip on the Stockton Police Department’s Facebook Page. Protection Status



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