$5,000 Reward Offered to Solve Napa Teen's Death

“We have interviewed about 40 people, and we still don’t know what exactly happened that night,” Napa Police Sgt. Paul Paniagua said. “We are hoping this reward will generate people who know or saw something to come forward.”


It has been nine months since a Vintage High School senior was found unconscious and bleeding from the head in the middle of a road in north Napa, declared brain dead and taken off life support nine days later.

Investigators still do not know how Ramon Ramirez, 17, was so gravely injured that he never regained consciousness after he was found at 11:30 p.m. Oct. 14, 2011 and brought to Queen of the Valley Medical Center. He was taken off life support Oct. 23.

“We have interviewed about 40 people, and we still don’t know what exactly happened that night,” said Napa Police Sgt. Paul Paniagua Thursday afternoon during a press conference at police headquarters.

Ramirez’s three sisters joined Paniagua as he announced that a $2,500 reward for information helping to solve his death has been doubled to $5,000.

The reward is funded by and private donations.

“We are hoping this reward will generate people who know or saw something to come forward,” continued Paniagua, who said that no new leads or information on the case have surfaced in the past six weeks.

Norma Ramirez, 33, spoke of the heartache and sadness the death of her sibling has caused his family and friends.

“It’s been very difficult for all of these past months. My mother’s health has gotten worse with the loss of our little brother,” she said.

“People who have not gone through this kind of a loss don’t know how we feel. He’s not here anymore. I go to his room, and he’s not there,” she went on, tears streaming down her cheeks.

“His birthday, his (high school) graduation (this month) he’s not there. He’s gone.”

Norma Ramirez pleaded for anyone with information to contact authorities.

“We need you to come forward without fear and tell us what you know. They just left him in the street to die. We just want Ramon to rest in peace.”

Ramon “was the baby of the family,” added sister Yanely Ramirez, 20.

“But we won’t get to grow up together. Please whoever knows anything come forward and let us live the rest of our lives in peace.”

Paniagua said investigators are not ruling out anything that could pinpoint how Ramon died.

“Only Ramon and whoever saw what actually happened, knows what really happened that night,” he said.

No bicycle, skateboard

The night of Oct. 14, 2011, Ramirez was found lying on Pear Tree Lane near Villa Lane, bleeding from the head and unresponsive with life-threatening injuries.

His body had been thrown onto the hood of a parked SUV, striking the windshield, police said

There had been a gathering in the area but it has not been determined if the people from the gathering witnessed the incident, Paniagua said.

“We have pursued numerous leads, but nothing has lead us to a suspect or what happened that night,” Paniagua said.

Police found no bicycle or skateboard nearby.

Paniagua said investigators are not ruling out any theory that could determine how Ramirez received his fatal injuries.

Ramirez’s sisters also appealed to the community to ignore to the rumors that are circulating about how their brother died.

“My brother was free of drugs and alcohol. That’s not just me saying it, that is what the police reports showed,” Yanely Ramirez said. 

Paniagua said there is no evidence to point to the case being gang related.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Napa Valley Crime Stoppers at 1-800-450-9543 or text to NVCS 274637.

Information may also be left with Napa Police Capt.  Steve Potter at 258-7882.

Those interested in donating to the reward fund may do so at Redwood Credit Union, 1705 First St., Napa or by mailing a donation to the Ramon Ramirez Reward Fund, c/o Napa Police Department, 1539 First St., Napa 94559.

For more about Napa County's unsolved disappearances, homicides and rapes, please see our Cold Cases topic page at napa.patch.com/topics/cold-cases.

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