CALEXICO, Calif. - Calexico Police are mourning over a homeless man they called one of the good guys.
On Sunday, 68-eight-year-old Jesus Madueno was discovered deceased underneath plastic sheets in his makeshift camp on west side of town.
Officer Manuel Ceja said Madueno was “a role model citizen here in Calexico. He had his challenges as a transient, unfortunately for him, but he was a type of individual that was pro-police, law-abiding citizen, very respectful every time we came across him.”
Madueno lived behind an unoccupied building along Portico Boulevard, which he voluntarily watched over.
“I personally encountered him. Other police officers encountered him. Very friendly individual. He did live on the streets. He’s very helpful every time we across him. Never involved in any criminal activity. Very pro-police. There’s maybe a handful of times that I stopped him, and he gave me some very helpful information in regards to some of the stuff that we were investigating,” Orozco said.
Maudeno reported vandalism.
“He would give us a description of either the suspect or description of the vehicle, or he would tell us, hey officers, i think the guys went this way,” Orozco said.
Homeless advocate Maribel Padilla said people often have a preconceived idea about the homeless.
“Most of the people think because they’re out there homeless they’re either drunks or druggies,” Padilla said.
Padilla’s organization Brown Bag Coalition provides about 45 meals daily and registers the homeless to help them get assistance.
“There’s about a hundred-twenty, hundred twenty-five in Calexico alone,” Padilla said.
They face many challenges.
“Shelter is really hard. You’ve only got one men’s shelter in the whole imperial valley which is in Calexico. They have fifty beds and they’re usually always at capacity,” Padilla said.
But Padilla said she’s not surprised that Madueno was a good guy.
“There’s always that one that is trustworthy,” Padilla said.
Calexico police said Madueno will be missed.
“Having learned it was Mr. Madueno who had passed kind of took a toll on some of the police officers knowing that he was such a good guy,” Ceja said.