Left: The Santa Paula Police Department “Special Weapons Team” stands at the front door of a home in the 600 block of Sycamore Street. People in the home were ordered to come out showing their hands. In total 11 people came out of the house and were detained. The home was searched for evidence pertaining to the death of Ashley Moran. Right A Santa Paula Police Officer climbs the ladder on the back of a motor home parked in the driveway in the 600 block of Sycamore Street. The officer checked the roof and under the motor home to make sure that no one was hiding. The yard in front of the home and in the driveway was displayed with many religious symbols.

Three homes searched simultaneously
related to Moran homicide

March 26, 2014
Santa Paula News

By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula Times Three homes were searched simultaneously in the pre-dawn hours Friday by Santa Paula Police trying to find information on the death of Ashley Moran, whose brutally beaten and stabbed body was found at Obregon Park March 15.

The body of Moran, 21, a Santa Paula resident, was partially concealed by bushes on a steep slope when it was found at about 8:30 a.m. by an area resident walking his dog. 

The autopsy found she was in the “very early, early stages of pregnancy,” said SPPD Lt. Ish Cordero, who noted the cause of death was from blunt force trauma to the upper body and head as well as stab wounds to the neck. 

Cordero said investigators were looking for people who knew the victim and may have information about what led to her death.

At 5 a.m. SPPD SWAT team members and Detectives served the warrants at three locations in Santa Paula including residences in the 600 block of Sycamore Street, the 1200 block of Orchard Street and the 100 block of Larmon Loop Lane.

Cordero said several people were detained and questioned and unspecified evidence was gathered, but at this point police are not willing to state if anything found at the three-targeted residences were tied to the murder. 

“At this point I’ll just say our investigators are evaluating items we found during the searches,” Cordero said.

Detectives, he added, will be following up on potential leads on Moran’s murder.

The motive of the murder, Santa Paula’s first in 2014, remains under investigation.

Investigators believe Moran, who was due to graduate from Sierra High School in June and was slated to start studies to become a medical assistant next month, was killed in the park sometime between 11 p.m. Friday and the time she was found the next morning.

Her vehicle was found parked at Obregon Park and towed from the scene to be examined for further evidence; a weapon has not be identified or located.

A Mass and funeral service was held for Moran Friday.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Santa Paula Police Department, 525-4474.

If the caller would prefer to remain anonymous, they can call the SPPD recorded Tip Hotline, 933-5691.

In addition, tips can be emailed to the SPPD at tipline@spcity.org

Those with information can also call Ventura County Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477). The caller may remain anonymous and the call is not recorded.

Ventura County Crime Stoppers can also be contacted by texting “Busted” plus your message to CRIMES (274637). 

Crime Stopper Tips can also be sent via the website, www.venturacountycrimestoppers.org   

Crime Stoppers will pay up to a $1,000 reward for a tip that leads to a felony arrest as confirmed by the arresting agency. 

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