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Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department
Wednesday August 3rd, 2016 :: 04:25 p.m. PDT


Detectives Arrest Riverbank Man for Homicide Investigation in Riverbank

On 06-18-16 at 6:00 p.m. deputies responded to a 911 call of a deceased person in a homeless camp near the Stanislaus River in Riverbank, CA. When deputies arrived they found 43 year-old Justin Rainwater deceased on a trail by the river and it appeared that he had been stabbed.

Detectives responded and over the last two months they developed information that 33 year-old Lawrence Nicholas Srutek of Riverbank was a suspect in their investigation. Srutek was homeless and lived in the homeless camps next to the Stanislaus River. Rainwater was known to frequent the homeless camps, but lived nearby in Riverbank.

Preliminary investigation led detectives to a robbery investigation from April 12, 2016. In that investigation, Srutek was arrested for stealing money from Rainwater while being armed with a hatchet. Detectives believe the homicide was retaliation over a robbery arrest.

On 08-02-16 at 1:00 p.m. Sheriff’s Office and Riverbank Police Services detectives arrested Lawrence Srutek for homicide. Srutek was found in a homeless camp not far from where Rainwater was found deceased.

If you have any information regarding this investigation please call Detective Joshua Sandoval at 209-525-7073.

If you have any tips, you can leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636. Tipsters can also e-mail tips at, or text them to CRIMES (274637) by typing "Tip704" plus the message and be eligible for a cash reward


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Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department
250 Hackett Road
Modesto, CA 95358

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 209-567-4401

Anthony Bejaran

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