UPDATE: Dead body found in car near SSU
Body identified as 31-year-old Sonoma County resident
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By Dave Williams  January 15, 2013 11:31 am

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The Sonoma County Sheriff's office is investigating what it calls a suspicious death after finding a body wrapped in a blanket in the trunk of a car parked along Petaluma Hill Road next to Sonoma State University on Monday, Jan. 14.

Lt. Dennis O'Leary, who is heading the investigation for the Sheriff's Office, said the victim was identified as a 31-year-old Sonoma County resident but has not released the name. The body, O’Leary said, was probably dropped off near SSU sometime on Saturday evening. A cause of death has yet to be determined, but authorities said it was a suspicious death because of the location and condition of the body.

A deputy, at around 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 14, made a routine stop to check on the car because it was parked in a no-parking zone on Petaluma Hill Road just north of East Cotate Ave. A DMV check of the car's license plate showed the vehicle was associated with a subject wanted for questioning in a crime that occurred on Jan. 11 in the Santa Rosa area. Upon further investigation, deputies saw evidence inside the vehicle they believed could be associated with the Jan. 11 incident. Deputies noticed blood in the front seat of the car and outside the car.

As deputies continued their investigation of the vehicle, they found the trunk to be unlocked and discovered the body upon opening the trunk. When asked if this incident could be gang-related, O’Leary said “we haven’t ruled out anything.”

Deputies closed Petaluma Hill Road between East Cotati Avenue and Rohnert Park Expressway until Tuesday, Jan. 15.

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call the Sheriff's Office at 565-2185.

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