Authorities have identified the man who was killed at a Toppenish motel Wednesday.

Daniel Gomez-Vargas, 31, died from a single gunshot to his chest, Chief Deputy Yakima County Coroner Marshall Slight said. A Friday autopsy determined that Gomez-Vargas' death was a homicide, Slight said.

Gomez-Vargas was found dead Wednesday night at the El Corral Motel, 61731 U.S. Highway 97.

His killing is both the second in Toppenish city limits this year and the second at the motel.

Carlos Enciso-Ramirez, 19, of Toppenish was fatally shot at the motel on March 7, according to Toppenish police.

Gomez-Vargas' death is the eighth homicide in the county this year.

Attempts to contact Toppenish police were not successful.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Toppenish police at 509-865-1629. Tips may also be left with Yakima County Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or online at

Reach Donald W. Meyers at

Crime and Courts Reporter

Donald W. Meyers is a multimedia journalist at the Yakima Herald-Republic covering crime and courts. He is also the writer behind “It Happened Here,” a weekly history column. Before coming to Yakima, Meyers covered a wide variety of beats at The Salt Lake Tribune, Daily Herald, and daily and weekly newspapers across New Jersey. He is also a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, serving as a regional officer in the organization as well as on the national Freedom of Information Committee.

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