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Detectives Investigate Suspicious Death of Body Found in Vineyards

Fresno County Sheriff's deputies are investigating what they're calling a suspicious death. Shortly before 7 a.m. Tuesday, farmworkers were discing a vineyard near Cherry and Manning Avenues when they discovered a body.
Fresno County Sheriff's deputies are investigating what they're calling a suspicious death.

Detectives say farmworkers were discing a vineyard on the northwest corner of Cherry Avenue near Manning Avenue shortly before 7 a.m. Tuesday when they discovered the body. 

Detectives have not released the identity of the person found. 

But up the street, a woman said she and her family were grieving because they knew the person whose body was found; she said he was family. They did not want to be on camera or give more details. 
 
For most of the morning, homicide detectives combed the vineyards, looking for any clues that could tell them how the body ended up there. 

"They did find the body of a deceased male. It's apparent from the body, that he's been out here for at least a few days," says Deputy Chris Curtice, public information officer with the Fresno County Sheriff's Office. 

Detectives also found a bike nearby.

Julia Martinez and her family rent a home from the owner of the vineyards.

Martinez says although it's a quiet area, there's often eyes on the street.

"I'm actually pretty surprised because the 41 freeway is just right behind and there's always a highway patrol right there on the corner of Cherry and Manning to get the speeding drivers," Martinez says. 

As detectives work to solve this case, those who live nearby say it's disturbing to know a body was found lying in the vineyards close to home.

"I get kind of goosebumps when I go to funerals for someone I know. It's just kind of unsettling to see," Bryan Carrillo says. 

"It's just uncomfortable I guess now that it's happened," Martinez says. "It's pretty calm and tranquil out here, so I guess we're just going to have to be on the extra alert."
 
Detectives are working to identify the body. They haven't released an approximate age or his ethnicity.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 498-STOP.
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