Crime & Safety

Defendants Convicted of Murder in Years-Long Missing Persons Case

Raymond Wright

On Friday, March 17, 2023, the suspects in a years-long missing persons case were convicted of the first-degree murder of Raymond Wright, with the special circumstance that the murder was committed during the commission of a kidnapping. Suspects Robert Manor and Victor Merle Gray were also convicted of kidnapping for ransom causing death.

In 2011, Wright was a DUI driver and caused a collision in which Robert Manor and his wife were seriously injured. Wright was prosecuted for felony DUI by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office. He served his time and completed his probation. However, Robert Manor held a grudge against the victim for years and put his plan for revenge into motion in 2018.

On January 11, 2018, the victim mysteriously disappeared. Concerned family members checked the victim’s Rocklin home and a shop he rented in Rio Linda. When the victim remained missing, the search extended statewide.

On January 13, 2018, the victim’s brother encountered a strange man inside the victim’s home and called the police. The man ran out of the house, but a soda cup filled with a fresh drink was found in the kitchen. The straw from the cup was tested for DNA and uploaded to the CODIS database.

On January 22nd, 2018 Wright’s white 2016 Ford F250 truck was found in the parking lot of the Freedom Park Apartments, missing its license plates. Observers noted that it had been in the parking lot for about a week before being discovered.

On January 27, 2018, Victor Gray was under the influence and led CHP on a high-speed chase. The chase ended in a crash, which caused injuries to innocent victims. Gray’s van was towed from the scene. When the van was searched, a blood-soaked raincoat, the victim’s wallet, and other property belonging to the victim were found inside. Much of the property was charred and the blood on the raincoat matched the victim’s DNA.

Further investigation revealed a letter from Gray to Manor complaining about not being paid for “delivering dude” and asking Manor to take care of the person “who hand-delivered you your revenge.”

Other evidence also linked Manor to the revenge killing and the hiring of Gray to kidnap the victim from his shop in Rio Linda. The DNA uploaded to CODIS then returned a full profile match to Victor Gray, who was a prior felon.

Raymond Wright’s body has never been found.

Manor and Gray both face a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Sentencing is set for April 28, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. in Department 32 before the Honorable James Arguelles.

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