July, for reasons both hopeful and tragic, is Jose Arredondo Month for his family on this 2-year anniversary


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — It’s been two years since the death of Jose Arredondo, two years since his murder in Baja California Sur. His family continues to grieve but they also continue to do his work.

On July 16, 2019, Laura Arredondo got what she says was the worst phone call of her life. Her brother, one notch up in age from her in their family of 11 siblings, had been murdered in brutal fashion at his condo near Cabo San Lucas.

A close friend and golfing buddy of the car dealership magnate, Robert Gonzales, was arrested and charged, but a year later he was released amid allegations of coerced witness testimony and planted evidence. The case remains unsolved.

Has law enforcement provided any updates in the past year?

“No, not yet,” Arredondo says. “Not yet.”

{There’s not much the Arredondo family can do about it. Not much except to continue some of the things they did while Jose was alive. Namely, give back.

“It’s been really hard and it’s been a really hard day for me, today especially,” Arredondo said. “We just want to focus on the good things that he did and move on.”

On Friday, the two year anniversary of Arredondo’s death, and about two weeks before what would have been his 63rd birthday, Laura Arredondo traveled to the family’s Fresno car dealership and gave away 300 backpacks filled with school supplies to every child between the ages of 6 and 12 who shows up and asks for one. She’ll do the same next week at their Delano dealership and the following week in Porterville at their Spanish-language radio station.

“We want to keep his legacy alive,” she said. “He’s not here with us anymore but he’s in our hearts and he will always be,”

The Arrendondo family, which once had seven car dealerships throughout the valley, is now down to two. Those, along with significant commercial property holdings, are the primary sources of their income today. They might be a little lower-key than when Jose was the face of the family company, but they’re not going anywhere and they’re not pulling back from their community work — especially not this month.

For the Arredondo family, for reasons both good and tragic, July is Jose Arredondo Month.


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