The faces and names of Emmanuel “Manny D” Mendoza and James “Flacco” Stancampiano — both sought in connection with the shooting death of Prater on Sept. 15, 2010 — were obscured with black spray-paint, an obvious effort to conceal their identities from drivers on westbound 11th Street east of Tracy and southwest of Grant Line Road, where the billboard is located.
As of Friday, there were no immediate leads as to who might have vandalized the larger-than-life wanted poster.
Edgar Jose Canseco is already in custody for the crime, and faces charges of first-degree murder. His trial is set to begin Sept. 26 in Stockton.
Robin Prater, the mother of Kevin Prater II, did not immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment Friday.
Late last month, however, she told the Press that having the suspects’ faces and names where the public can see them could help bring justice to the case.
“I know it’s not going to bring him back,” she said. “(But) if their faces are not out there, people will forget about it. It keeps the public alert and aware.”
Tracy police, when contacted early Friday afternoon, said they weren’t aware of the graffiti. A gang unit officer said homicide detectives would be informed about the vandalism.
The graffiti was soon removed, and the billboard was free of vandalism at last check Monday morning.