MEDFORD, Ore. — Medford Police are asking for your help finding a man wanted in the stabbing death of a Medford woman Sunday.
Police identified Jose Valencia-Gaona, 45, as the suspect. Valencia-Gaona is suspected of stabbing and killing 38-year-old Maria Rodriguez Sunday night at her apartment at 1990 Table Rock Road in Medford.
Police said Valencia-Gaona lives in the 2400 block of West McAndrews, and police believe he is still in the West McAndrews area. He is 5-foot-7-inches tall and weighs 180 pounds. He is also known to use the street name “Pepe.”
Police are now classifying the murder as a domestic violence homicide. They say the suspect and the victim knew each other previous to the murder. Police believe Valencia-Gaona was hiding outside of the Rodriguez’s apartment waiting on her to get home.
Police are combing several neighborhoods in West Medford searching for Valencia-Gaona, but they are focusing primarily on the 2400 block of West McAndrews where Valencia-Gaona was living.
“We’ve got a ton of boots on the ground,” said Medford Police Chief, Tim George. ”We are putting a lot of energy and effort put into this. We have burned the midnight oil on this case, and it is job number one. It is priority number one, and we need help.”
They raided a house in the 2400 block multiple times, once on Monday afternoon and again Monday night.
“We’ve been close a couple of times — within 30 or 40 minutes –
we’ve been close on this, but close doesn’t count on this
one you, either have someone in custody or you don’t,” said George.
According to police, Valencia-Gaona does not have a previous criminal history.
Anyone with information is asked to call Medford Police at 541-770-4783.