Home News Crime & Incidents Beloved 98-Year-Old RivCo Man Killed In His Home, Police Seek Tips

Beloved 98-Year-Old RivCo Man Killed In His Home, Police Seek Tips

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Earnest Collins “was a long-time Banning resident, who was known and loved by several people in his community,” police said.

BANNING, CA — A 98-year-old Banning man who was attacked and killed inside his home last month was formally identified Tuesday as Earnest Collins.

“Mr. Collins was a long-time Banning resident, who was known and loved by several people in his community,” Banning police said.

Collins was found unresponsive around 2:38 p.m. April 19 at his home in the 500 block of N. Allen Street. No arrests have been announced in the case and police say they are looking for tips.

“We thank the public for their assistance in bringing justice to Mr. Collins, his family, and friends,” the Banning Police Department said.

According to an obituary for Collins, he was born on Jan. 5, 1926, in Foreman, Arkansas, to Clay Collins Sr. and Caroline Johnson Collins.

He went on to be drafted by the U.S. Army in 1946 and received an honorable discharge. He married his first wife, Vera Odessa Collins, and together they had three children: Allen James Collins, Johnnie Earl Collins, and Jimmy Ray Collins, the obituary states.

From 1959 to 1979, Collins worked at a cotton mill in Calipatria.

“He was such a great people person that he quickly advanced to night shift foreman,” according to the obituary.

Following his retirement from the mill, Collins married his second wife, Lucille Sullivan.

Collins was preceded in death by both of his wives and two of his sons, Allen James and Jimmy Ray.

He is survived by sons Johnnie Earl of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Bobbie Lee Collins of Phoenix, Arizona, and eight grandchildren — Jason Anthony Collins, Michelle Lavette Collins, Dione Lamar Collins, Datrice Lanette Collins, Deandra Renae Collins, Dorian Ray Collins, Allen James Collins, Jr. and Lorraine Denise Collins — several great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.

Anyone with information about the killing is asked to contact the Banning Police Detective Bureau at 951-922-3170.

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