Crime - Sacto 911

Crime Q&A: Was case of man found dead near William Land Park ever solved?

Q: Around 1990, a man named Manuel “Manny” Morales was found dead in William Land Park, wrapped up in a blanket wearing only his underwear. Was he murdered? If so, was the case solved?

Kathy, Orangevale

A: Stanley David Grow of North Highlands was arrested in April 2013 for the October 1988 slaying of 51-year-old Manuel “Manny” Morales.

The arrest in the 25-year-old case came after the California Department of Justice, in July 2012, developed a DNA profile from evidence obtained in the case. The profile was submitted to be searched against the CAL-DNA Data Banks. The result was a hit for Grow in the Department of Justice’s national DNA database of criminal offenders, according to Sacramento police.

In February 2016, Grow, 56, pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to seven years in state prison, according to Sacramento Superior Court records available online. He is incarcerated at the California Institution for Men in Chino.

Morales’ body was found at 2:17 a.m. Oct. 19, 1988, by a Sacramento police officer on patrol on 14th Avenue in the William Land Park area. Morales was lying in the gutter and wrapped in a blood-soaked sheet. He had been stabbed in the chest and face, according to stories in The Sacramento Bee.

During the initial investigation, homicide detectives learned that Morales was last seen the previous night driving his 1980 silver BMW and dropping off several female associates at their homes. Officers found Morales’ vehicle later the same day his body was discovered. Crime scene investigators processed the car and obtained samples of what appeared to be blood, police said.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy