DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. - An elderly man who was attacked and robbed in his Desert Hot Springs home nearly one year ago has passed away.
The widow of 82-year George Salinas said he died on April 29th after suffering a stroke in March.
George Salinas volunteered as a Citizen on Patrol for the Desert Hot Springs Police Department prior to the attack, and had been recognized at the Senior Inspiration awards in 2007 for his commitment to the community.
On the morning of June 3nd, 2016, Salinas and his wife were attacked and held at gunpoint by 22-year-old Edward Inzunza and 29-year-old Antonio Sanchez. The pair from Perris entered the Salinas home on Via Domingo through the garage and used a crowbar they found inside to beat the couple.
After the attack, Sanchez and Inzunza stole valuables & Salinas' truck.
According to Commander Jim Henson of Desert Hot Springs Police Department, there was no relationship between the couple and the suspects, this was simply a robbery gone wrong.
Inzunza and Sanchez were arrested a couple of days later in Perris. They pled guilty to a number of charges and were sentenced to 15- and 10-year prison terms, respectively.
Desert Hot Springs police have requested the DA's office review the case to see if the men can be charged with murder or other crimes since Salinas' death last month. A spokesperson from the District Attorney's office was not immediately available for comment.
Salinas' widow said her husband was never the same after the attack, "He wasn't old. He looked very young," Alicia Salinas told CBS Local 2's Brooke Beare.
"We went to court after the beating, and my husband was crying because he was in so much pain," said Alicia Salinas. "When these people broke into the house and beat him up, they took my husband that did everything with me. We went shopping, we went to see our grandkids. We went to the senior center. And they took that from me. He was not the same."
Alicia Salinas said her husband had surgery in January on his shoulder, but was told afterward he should not have because he had never recovered from his head injuries.
Salinas worked for Desert Regional Healthcare in the past and in addition to his duties on the DHS Police Dept. Citizens on Patrol, was a member of Knights of Columbus. George's widow received the Senior inspiration award in 2014, George received the award in 2007.
Salinas' widow says George will be buried next Tuesday in Whittier.