Stanislaus County Sheriff’s officials announced Thursday, Jan. 17 that Ryan Mazzariello, 26, the suspect in the double homicide at Oakdale Market last November, was found unresponsive in his Stanislaus County jail cell that morning and was later pronounced dead.
Mazzariello was housed in a single person cell and had no signs of trauma when he was found.
Deputies who found Mazzariello attempted to revive him but were unable. Once emergency medical personnel arrived at the downtown Modesto jail they pronounced Mazzariello deceased.
Oakdale Police Detective Max Messina, who is assisting the sheriff’s homicide team investigating the murder case, said he was contacted around 8:45 a.m. and advised of the incident.
“I was told there was nothing suspicious about how he was found,” said Messina. “He wasn’t beat up and there were no signs of foul play. He was found in a sleeping position.”
Messina said an autopsy was performed by the Stanislaus County Coroner today and that it could not determine a cause of death. Toxicology reports are pending which may help identify the cause.
A sheriff’s spokesman said toxicology results won’t be available for four to six weeks.
Mazzariello, a former National Guardsman, was arrested by Oakdale Police and the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department for the deadly shooting of Abel Calderon, 20, and Ruben Mora Jr., 15, in front of the Oakdale Market on Nov. 11.
Responding officers to the shooting located a vehicle left behind at the scene that they believed was used in connection with the shooting and were able to link it to Mazzariello. Inside the vehicle was an assault weapon-type rifle in used in the shooting. Officers went to Mazzariello’s home and arrested him a short time later.
A possible motive for the shooting was that Mazzariello was upset with the “gang element” hanging around in the area and that Mazzariello had reported being threatened at various times by Norteno gang members.
In December, Mazzariello pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder. He was scheduled to return to court Feb. 20.