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  • Kim Minugh

    Crime scene tape keeps people away from the levee road scene where a body was discovered Thursday morning.

  • Kim Minugh

    A sign at the head of a Delta levee road where a body was found Thursday morning warns against trespassing.

Body found on rural Delta road; death called suspicious

Published: Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 - 11:11 pm
Last Modified: Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 - 10:05 am

Sacramento County sheriff’s detectives are investigating a suspicious death after a patrol deputy discovered a body partly hidden on a rural Delta road early Thursday.

Homicide detectives were on the scene investigating what does not appear to be a natural death or a suicide, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Sgt. Lisa Bowman. Officials are not releasing the gender or approximate age of the individual but said the body was that of a clothed adult.

Bowman said it is not clear how long the body had been on the unnamed levee road off Twin Cities Road, though investigators don’t think it was a long time. She declined to say whether there was visible trauma to the body.

It also was not clear Thursday whether the person died at the scene or if the body had been dumped there, Bowman said.

Detectives are reviewing missing-person reports from the area to determine whether there is a match, she said. They also were trying to determine the last time a deputy had been through the area, which is part of a routine route for at least one officer assigned to the area.

“Our patrol officers are very diligent in doing their checks,” Bowman said.

A deputy found the body shortly before 8 a.m. while patrolling the dusty levee road west of Interstate 5 and just east of the bridge over Snodgrass Slough. The body was partly obscured by a rusty piece of farming equipment parked on the shoulder of the road, about a half-mile north of Twin Cities. A thick canopy of trees hangs overhead, Bowman said.

According to a posted sign that appears rusty and old, the road was at one point on private property belonging to a hunting and fishing club. However, Bart McDermott, refuge manager for the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, said the scene is either located in the refuge or adjacent private property that is leased to a farmer.

McDermott said a gate onto the levee road from Twin Cities used to be closed, but is now generally left open to allow the adjacent property owner access to his land, as well as sheriff’s deputies who like to patrol the area. Two other cattle gates located farther north on the levee road typically are closed, he said.

Another gate north of where the body was discovered was found open Thursday, Bowman said. It was not immediately clear who opened it.

Anyone with information about the death is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department at (916) 874-5115.

“We have no witnesses, no hunters, no fishermen who happened to come across this body,” Bowman said.

Call The Bee’s Kim Minugh, (916) 321-1038. Follow her on Twitter @Kim_Minugh.

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