Will Reward Money Make People Talk In Sanger? | News
The community of Sanger hopes a hefty reward will provide new tips in the disappearance of Sammy Mercado. The 16-year-old Mercado vanished after reportedly trying to steal marijuana from a Southeast Fresno grow in mid–April
Sunday, his hometown baked cupcakes, candy and peanut butter cookies to raise money for his reward fund. The Mercado family was overwhelmed by the support in Sanger including his cousin Desiree Mercado. "It makes me feel blessed that there are people like this out here."
Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims announced that Crime Stoppers doubled its reward money to $2,000. Mims encouraged the crowd not to hold back anything they know about the case. "It could be the smallest, the smallest bit of information that cracks this case wide open for us."
Detectives say Mercado and two friends drove to a field at Annadale and Willow on April 12th to steal marijuana. Mercado was confronted by two men on the property as his two friends drove away. They reportedly heard gunshots.
Four days after he disappeared, the Sheriff's office said it was looking for 21-year-old Ernie Chanmany. Detectives believe he may be involved in Mercado's disappearance.
Mercado's Dad Phillip remains confident. "Right now I still have my hopes that my son is still out there alive and we're praying for him."
Meantime lunch was served and baskets were raffled to raise reward money; money they hope will prod someone to talk and solve a case that has gone cold.
Sunday's fundraiser raised more than $6,000.