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Promising new leads in 2007 unsolved Fremont killing

Harry Harris

Bay Area News Group

November 24, 2020

FREMONT — Promising new leads have been developed in the unsolved 2007 fatal beating of a 20-year-old man, police said Tuesday.

A $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects was also announced by Governor Gavin Newsom as part of his crime tip reward program.

The new information developed by Fremont Cold Case Detective Jacob Blass from investigative tips in recent months has resulted in police releasing a composite sketch of a man described as the primary suspect in the death of Emerson Zuniga. A photograph of a van similar to the one the suspects killer fled in was also released.

Zuniga was found at about 2:15 p.m. Jan. 25, 2007, suffering from life threatening injuries in the front yard of a house in the 4300 block of Stevenson Boulevard. He died from his injuries on Feb. 26 and was Fremont’s first homicide that year.

During the initial investigation, witnesses told police they saw Zuniga fighting with two other men just before finding him. Witnesses indicated the fight was brief and ended with one of the men embedding a large metal object into the top of Zuniga’s head.

After the fight the two suspects fled the area in a late 1980s or early 1990s metallic blue minivan with factory rims that was possibly two-toned in color.

The suspects fighting with Zuniga were described as Hispanic, late teens or early 20s, both between 5 feet 8 and 5 feet 10 with medium builds. They wore baggy t-shirts and slightly loose fitting pants, possibly jeans. Both suspects had medium to short dark colored hair and one of them possibly had facial hair, described as a goatee and a thin mustache.

One of the suspects wore a black baseball cap that said “Raider.” A detailed description of the van driver was not released.

In a statement, police said the department “has invested its resources into investigating and solving cold case homicides and missing persons. Our ultimate goal is to give answers and a sense of closure to the loved ones of every murder victim and missing person.”

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to please contact Detective Blass at 510-790-6900 or via email at coldcasedetective@fremont.gov. The Fremont Police Department also accepts anonymous tips.

Staff writer Rick Hurd contributed to this report.

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