Police: East Medford homicide was domestic violence

The victim in an east Medford homicide was the mother of her alleged killer's children.

Noemi Ruiz, 32, found stabbed to death in her driveway Monday morning in the 2000 block of Hill Way, had been in a decade-long relationship with Enrique Solis-Garcia that recently turned abusive, according to Medford police Lt. Justin Ivens.

Ruiz and Solis-Garcia never married in their 10 years together, but they have two children.

“Obviously that’s tragic in and of itself right there,” Ivens said about the children's loss.

Family told police that Solis-Garcia had acted abusively recently.

“They (Ruiz's family members) were aware of recent domestic issues between the two of them,” Ivens said. “He was on our radar pretty early on in the investigation.”

A vehicle believed to be Solis-Garcia's was captured on surveillance video, Ivens said.

A Keene Way Drive home surveillance system captured video of a vehicle driving away from the neighborhood Monday morning just after the homicide. Keene Way Drive connects to Hill Way. The vehicle matched family members' descriptions of Solis-Garcia's vehicle.

Though the surveillance video doesn't capture a license plate, the quality was strong enough to match the vehicle with the family members' descriptions, Ivens said. He declined to say what vehicle Solis-Garcia was driving because the investigation is still in its early stages. 

Ivens said detectives questioned Solis-Garcia into the early-morning hours Tuesday at the Tehama County Jail in Red Bluff, California. Detectives didn't return home until about 4 a.m.

"It was a long day for them," Ivens said.

Solis-Garcia was arrested in Red Bluff at 11:09 a.m. Monday, after officers in Red Bluff spotted him walking on the street near the Sacramento River Bridge, according to a Red Bluff police release. Medford police relayed tips from family members as to Solis-Garcia's possible whereabouts to Red Bluff police, Ivens said.

The home surveillance video that corroborated leads in Ruiz's homicide wasn't part of Medford police's voluntary Surveillance Camera Registration and Mapping program, better known as "SCRAM," according to Ivens. Instead, police noticed the surveillance camera during their door-to-door neighborhood sweep that followed the homicide Monday morning.

Ivens encouraged businesses and homeowners to register their cameras in the SCRAM program, which works as a directory of locations and contacts so police can more quickly ask for access to investigate crimes. Police have no access to private surveillance video without the owner's permission. A link to the program's web page is available here.

"It's not Big Brother looking in to your cameras," said Ivens, who described video evidence as "another piece of the puzzle."

“Hopefully it leads you somewhere; in this case it did,” Ivens said.

— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.

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