Release Date/Time: 2/18/2021 9:18 AM
Incident: Homicide
Date: Wednesday, 2/17/2021
Time: 12:15 PM
Location: 1700 Block of Great Island Street

On 02/17/21, at 12:15 PM, Officers responded to a welfare check request on the 1700 block of Great Island Street. The reporting party said he had been trying to reach his 57-year-old mother and had not heard from her in several days. He called his mother’s work and they had not spoken to her since Friday. He had also tried to call his mother’s boyfriend, Richard Ruiz (59), with no answer.

Officers responded to the home on Great Island Street and tried to call both the missing woman and Ruiz. Neither answered their phone. When officers checked the outside of the home, they found nothing unusual and no signs of forced entry. However, based on the suspicious circumstances, officers forced entry into the home and found the missing woman deceased inside. It was clear this was now a murder investigation.

Detectives and Crime Scene Investigators (CSI) took over the investigation and a plan was developed to systematically and methodically process the scene. Detectives immediately began the search to locate Ruiz.

Within hours, detectives narrowed down Ruiz’ location, and began tracking him. Detectives were able to make contact with Ruiz by phone. Using a ruse, they narrowed his location and plain clothes Salinas detectives in an unmarked vehicle located him in Gilroy. Ruiz was in his vehicle along southbound 101 near Masten Ave.  Detectives kept Ruiz under surveillance and followed him until marked police units were in place. Around midnight, Salinas Police Patrol officers attempted to stop Ruiz on Hwy 101 north of Salinas, but he failed to stop, and a pursuit began. Officers pursued Ruiz for approximately 30 miles toward Soledad reaching speeds in excess of 70 mph. As they approached Soledad his vehicle was spike stripped by CHP and he was arrested at gunpoint by Salinas officers and detectives.

Ruiz was booked into Monterey County Jail on charges of murder and evading officers.

Detectives and Crime Scene Investigators are still processing the scene on Great Island Street and will likely be there through the morning and afternoon.

The name of the victim is being withheld pending notification of additional family members.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective John McNeil at (831) 758-7277 or email him at: [email protected]

Or call the Salinas Police Department at (831) 758-7321. If you would like to remain anonymous, you can call the Salinas Police Department Tip Line at (831) 775-4222.

Release Authorized by: Cmdr. John C. Murray
Telephone: (831)758-7350