Authorities Seek 3 Suspects After Home Invasion Robbery Leaves 2 Dead

Officials have released information on an attempted home invasion robbery in Corning that left two suspects dead and three still at large. Shortly after 6 O’clock last Tuesday night, four men and one woman in a Dodge Charger parked in front of a home on Highway 99W at the northern edge of Corning near Blackburn Avenue. The woman knocked at the front door and said her car had broken down. 23-year-old Austreberto Santamaria-Valencia went out to help her. When he got to the car he was approached by two men, one of them with a handgun, and they ordered him to return to the house. It’s believed that they intended to rob the residents of a large quantity of Marijuana. On the way to the door things went terribly wrong for the robbers as Santamaria-Valencia was able to get the gun away from the armed man, and he shot both robbers in the head, killing them. One of the remaining suspects took off on foot, and was last seen running northeast through an orchard. The woman and the other male suspect fled to the south in a white 4-door 2006 Dodge Charger. The car was lowered and may have tinted windows. It had no front license plate, but had a license plate frame that was cracked or damaged. Santamaria-Valencia and the other two people in the house, 48-year-old Enrique Santamaria-Zepeda and 44-year-old Maria Valencia-Lepe, did not recognize the robbers, who are all described as Hispanic. The Tehama County Coroner’s Office is trying to determine the identities of the dead men, both believed to be 25 to 35-years-old. Tehama County Sheriff’s Detectives have the semi-auto handgun that was used against the robbers, as well as a semi-auto rifle that one of them dropped while fleeing. Santamaria-Valencia will likely not be charged with a crime, according to Tehama County D.A. Matt Rogers. Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston says he was clearly protecting his life, home and property.


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