Crime

Police: Third man accused in Lynden homicide no longer a suspect

A Lynden police car blocks the driveway at 1213 Bradley Road east of Lynden High School  Wednesday morning, Nov. 23, 2011, where Jesse L. Winchester, 22, of Ferndale, was found dead in the home after an apparent homicide. His father, Jeremiah L. Winchester, 40, was taken to St. Joseph hospital with a gunshot wound to the head.
A Lynden police car blocks the driveway at 1213 Bradley Road east of Lynden High School Wednesday morning, Nov. 23, 2011, where Jesse L. Winchester, 22, of Ferndale, was found dead in the home after an apparent homicide. His father, Jeremiah L. Winchester, 40, was taken to St. Joseph hospital with a gunshot wound to the head. THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

LYNDEN — One of the men accused in a fatal shooting in Lynden turned himself in to authorities Tuesday evening, Nov. 29, and is no longer considered a suspect in the death of Jesse Winchester, 22, of Ferndale.

But Lynden Police Chief Jack Foster said officers are still looking for a third suspect in the shooting.

Rickey Peralez, 37, was interviewed by police Tuesday night and passed a voluntary polygraph test that showed he was not at the two-story house where Winchester was killed Nov. 22, police said.

Peralez was the third suspect named in a shooting that left Jesse Winchester dead and Jeremiah Winchester, his father, with a gunshot wound to the head.

Police are still searching for two brothers suspected in the shooting: Oscar “Scrappy” Rodriguez, 15, and Salvador “Chuco” Rodriguez, 21.

A witness had identified Peralez out of a photo lineup, Foster said.

On Tuesday, Peralez contacted the Whatcom County Prosecutor’s Office through his attorney and volunteered to take a lie detector test to prove his innocence, Foster said. Peralez passed the test and is no longer considered a person of interest.

In a news release, Foster thanked Peralez for his cooperation and said he “deeply regrets any inconvenience it may have caused Mr. Peralez.”

Police had planned to search Peralez’s 1994 Ford Explorer after it was impounded as evidence in the case. Foster said he wasn’t sure what would happen to the truck now.

While police have received numerous leads in the case, Foster said, none of them have led to an arrest.

Photographs of the Rodriguez brothers were released the day after the shooting, when Jeremiah Winchester awoke from an induced coma and confirmed their identities.

Salvador Rodriguez is a known member of the Bansallo Locos Surenos gang. He and his brother should be considered armed and dangerous.

Tips should be directed to Lynden Police at 360-354-2828.

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