Fresno County investigators fear a missing teenager could be hurt, shot, or worse. 16-year-old Sammy Mercado, of Sanger, was last seen on Thursday, April 12th.More >>
FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) -
A major break in the Sammy Mercado murder investigation, Fresno County Sheriff deputies confirm 21 year old Ernie Chanmany was arrested in Utah.
Deputies say he was arrested during a drug bust in Seveir County, and was found with about 100 pounds of marijuana in the car.
Fresno law enforcement had been looking for Chanmany in the disappearance of Sammy Mercado, sheriff deputies say Mercado and 2 others were trying to steal marijuana from a grow in the county when 2 armed men shot at them on the property.
Mercado was struck, but has not been seen since.
Jesse Mercado, the uncle of the 16 year old tells me the arrest of Chanmany is the news the entire family had been praying for.
Sammy's Uncle, Jesse Mercado says, "I know there is God up there, and he will find his way on how to heal my brother and the rest of the family, that's all we are hoping for. And justice to prevail in this case."
Sheriff Deputies confirm Chanmany was picked up October 6th, by a Utah Highway Patrol trooper.
Jesse Mercado knows his nephew is gone but he says it's important to the family especially Sammy father, Phillip to bury his son.
Mercado says, "Hoping that we can find Sammy so that we can give him a burial, he needs that and my brother needs that so him and his family can heal along with the rest of my family."
Fresno County Sheriff deputies say they've already questioned Chanmany in the Utah jail cell.
But they wouldn't elaborate on what he said.
Fresno County authorities plan to extradite Chanmany back to Fresno within the next week.
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