Officials have confirmed a suicide note was found at the scene where Oakley Pastor Jerry Hanoum killed himself, but the contents of the letter have not been revealed, said Jimmy Lee director of public affairs with the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff.
Hanoum, 61, was found dead inside a white vehicle on the Balfour Road property where he lived with a single self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
A witness who asked not to be named said Hanoum, 61, had arrived at the residence in a white truck just before 11 a.m., staying seated quietly inside. When the witness drove by the house again at 12:30 p.m., the truck had been moved to another location on the property, and the grounds were swarming with police.
Hanoum was under investigation for fraud in both Brentwood and Rio Vista for financial dealings related to his church, Mountain View Christian Center and its affiliated Trinity Christian School, both in Oakley. A civil suit asking for $1.2 million and alleging that Hanoum had bilked a Rio Vista woman out of her life savings following the death of her husband was delayed last week until May 10.
On Wednesday, a crowd of people lingered outside the Balfour Road house, exchanging hugs as police pored over the truck and grounds.
Former parishioner Charla Andrade and her husband, Bob, recently left the church after learning of Hanoum’s suspected financial misdeeds.
“I’m definitely in shock” over word of Hanoum’s death, she said. “This sure wasn’t the end result I thought would happen, but I was sorry to hear it, and I would not wish it on anyone’s family.”
A public memorial will be held on Saturday, May 14, 11 a.m. at Golden Hills Community Church in Brentwood,2401 Shady Willow Lane.
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To read the April 22 story on Jerry Hanoum, click here.
To read the April 1 story, click here.