Police identify Napan found slain in home

Man arrested driving victim's SUV, police say
2013-06-22T21:15:00Z 2013-06-24T11:16:16Z Police identify Napan found slain in homeHOWARD YUNE Napa Valley Register
June 22, 2013 9:15 pm  • 

A 24-year-old Napa transient is facing murder, robbery and burglary allegations after being arrested Friday while driving the vehicle of a man found dead at his Napa home, authorities announced.

Adrian Madrigal was stopped by a California Highway Patrol officer at about 4 p.m. Friday for a traffic violation on Highway 128 near Lake Berryessa, according to the Napa Police Department. Madrigal was driving an SUV owned by Don Buffington, 62, whose body was found by police later Friday inside his house in the 1100 block of Hayes Street, police Capt. Jeff Troendly said Saturday afternoon.

The CHP officer who stopped Madrigal ran a Department of Motor Vehicles check on the vehicle, a black Chevrolet TrailBlazer, after noticing its lack of license plates and seeing several pieces of jewelry in it, according to Troendly.

After being notified of the traffic stop, Napa Police and Napa County Sheriff's deputies went to the home and found possible blood smears on the back door, according to the police statement. The officers then found Buffington, who neighbors said lived alone, dead inside.

Madrigal was arrested on suspicion of murder, robbery, burglary, vehicle theft and violating probation, and was taken to the Napa Police Department for questioning, according to Troendly. He was booked into the Napa County jail at 11:30 p.m. Friday, according to booking records.

Troendly said Buffington is believed to have died some time after 11 p.m. Thursday, but the cause of death and what weapon may have been used remained unknown Saturday afternoon. Madrigal was stopped by a law enforcement officer at about 3:45 a.m. Friday in Middletown but was not detained, he added.

Neighbors said detectives arrived at Buffington’s house, a white stucco one-story structure, at about 5:20 p.m. Friday and stayed for about 18 hours, blocking access with police tape and removing items in bags.

Madrigal was on probation after serving jail time for a November 2011 incident in which he scaled the water tower at the former Sawyer Tanning Mill off Coombs Street and Imola Avenue, then dropped objects from the tower, according to Troendly. He was convicted last year of assault with a deadly weapon in connection to the incident.

On April 22, Madrigal was arrested again at the Kohl’s department store in downtown Napa on suspicion of shoplifting, according to Troendly. He was detained after removing price tags from $123 worth of clothing, then trying to leave the store, the Napa Valley Register reported at the time.

The Napa County Major Crimes Task Force, which is composed of the Napa Police, sheriff's office, Napa County District Attorney's Office and Calistoga police, is investigating the incident. The state Department of Justice has sent detectives to assist Napa police at the crime scene, according to Troendly.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Detective Andy Hess at 707-257-9507.

Copyright 2015 Napa Valley Register. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(22) Comments

  1. Iamfalconer49
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    Iamfalconer49 - June 22, 2013 1:23 pm
    Gangs breaking out on the public streets with knives, clubs and guns...transients breaking into homes and cars and now murder... Yah, sure Napa Valley is a postcard, but I won't write on the back, "wish you were here"!
  2. JLo
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    JLo - June 22, 2013 2:08 pm
    Wow iamfalcomer49 you act like that this crime doesn't happen anywhere. You might be able to find more piece of mind in Vallejo, Richmond, Oakland
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    HLMMXII - June 22, 2013 3:41 pm
    Sad story. Yet, can't help but wonder just how many vehicles are reported stolen in Napa County annually. Maybe a graph showing trends, whether they be "up" or 'down." Until you have a car stolen, nobody bothers to talk about it here in Tourist Mecca. Since we don't want to alarm a tourist with anything but how the local High school football team is doing. Are our possessions expendable, as long as tourists are dropping cash into someones coffer? Another sad story that Napans must deal with.
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    MICHAEL P WILSON - June 22, 2013 4:02 pm
    I have a Handy Tip. If you are going to drive a Dead Mans Car Make sure it has Plates and you drive by the Law
  5. NapaMark15
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    NapaMark15 - June 22, 2013 5:35 pm

    Would you like some handy tips on proper capitalization of words?

    RIP to the victim. All of this hits close to home, figuratively and literally.
  6. Iamfalconer49
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    Iamfalconer49 - June 22, 2013 6:00 pm
    This creep Madrigal was arrested for shop lifting at kohls here in Napa back in April and before that arrested for climbing the Sawyer water tower and throwing things from it at people below, and to continue, he was arrested before this for bodily assault. Now murder.. Will this creep again be in the news for some other 'crime on victim'! I hope we have heard the last of him.
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    MICHAEL P WILSON - June 22, 2013 7:23 pm
    Yes he engaged in much Scumbagery.
  8. valleygrl
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    valleygrl - June 22, 2013 7:37 pm
    Thank you Mark for both of your comments! RIP Mr. Buffington.
  9. Mamyt
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    Mamyt - June 22, 2013 8:00 pm
    What about his dog? :-(
  10. bluecollardoctor
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    bluecollardoctor - June 22, 2013 9:11 pm
    I think the caps are being used for emphasis, perhaps in lieu of italics or underline.
  11. midvalley
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    midvalley - June 22, 2013 9:27 pm
    Very sad story. RIP Mr. Buffington.

    So Madrigal was pulled over twice in less than 24 hours? I agree with Michael, if your going to steal a car drive according to the law.
  12. kevin
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    kevin - June 22, 2013 9:36 pm
    What's the point of convicting him? The courts are just going to order him turned loose again because of "overcrowding"...
  13. Wineandfood
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    Wineandfood - June 23, 2013 7:23 am
    Have you read the Register? Most of the stories added throughout the day are about crime. You have to be illiterate to not know about it. Still does not compare to other areas.
  14. Mia
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    Mia - June 23, 2013 3:27 pm
    I just want to say something about Din Buffington. I have known him since I was about 8 years old, he is a long time friend of my family. He was a straight shooter, a hard worker, with a great sense if humor. He also spent many hours, days, months and years helping others, and being of service. He was a great man with a huge heart. He lived his family and would proudly share about them. Whenever I would see him, I would smile big. I always said he was in my top two favorites. I can't believe we will never see him again, this is a huge loss, my husband and I are deeply saddened and shocked by this. RIP, Don and God bless his family.
  15. Iamfalconer49
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    Iamfalconer49 - June 23, 2013 4:33 pm
    Thank you Mia for giving human warmth to this cold news story.
  16. npma
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    npma - June 23, 2013 8:27 pm
    I did not Know Mr Buffington. I lived around the corner from him and always smiled ear to ear when I'd drive by his house and see his dog sleeping soundly in the back of his trailblazer. I always wanted to stop sometime and say hello to him and his pal but never did. I am disappointed that I didn't stop. I will always drive by and smile when I think of Mr Buffington and his dog. May he rest in peace and find eternal bliss.
  17. WFO4VR
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    WFO4VR - June 24, 2013 7:35 am
    Don Buffington was a great person-who loved his dog, and loved to meet people. I had the pleasure of meeting Don at Starbucks-almost every morning. Don would get a cup of coffee, and go outside smoke a cigarette and let his dog run.
    One early morning Don asked me who I was talking to so early in the morning on my phone? I explained that it was my son-in Afghanistan. Don-who barely knew me, became concerned with my son, and every day he would ask how he was, and how I was doing. Don became a savior of sorts to me. He would always make sure my son was okay, and gave me that thankless smile. Don had no idea who I was or who may family was-but he took it upon himself to make sure we knew who he was. Over the years (my son has been back now for over a year now), Don and I would talk over a cup of coffee at Starbucks, and Don would tell me stories of his life in the Vietnam War, and how glad he was to not be in that situation any longer. RIP Don- You are a hero......God bless
  18. missmarvelous
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    missmarvelous - June 24, 2013 7:40 am
    Most crime in Vallejo is drug related, and not random crime such as this crime which is very scary. Drug dealers killing Drug Dealers, young black men killing other young black men over drugs and turf, also now an increase in young Latinos doing the same.

    Random crime is much more scary, because guess what, you can just be minding your own business and it can happen to you! Was this guy on early release from prison?
  19. Papa
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    Papa - June 24, 2013 8:33 am
    I am glad to see so many people showing that this victim was more than a statistic, but a member of our community. Comparing napa to Richmond, Oakland, and Vallejo is ridiculous... Though we are geographically close, those places have some of the worst crime in the country...

    The fact that it is random scares me the most...perhaps the perp has mental issues, as do many transients here, if only we still provides sufficient services as a society to those who are truly ill so they did not self Medicate we could have avoided this... I hope the police will take calls about transients more seriously from now on.
  20. Esiuol
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    Esiuol - June 24, 2013 10:07 am
    R.I.P. Mr. Buffington. You will be greatly missed.
  21. glenroy
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    glenroy - June 25, 2013 2:26 pm
    Very kind comments WF....hope your son inlaw is safe as well.

  22. notalonethankyougod
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    notalonethankyougod - June 25, 2013 2:35 pm
    RIP Don, Thank you for all you gave to your friends here in Marin. We will miss you, but your words will continue on with us.
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