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Dead man found in Gustine orchard

POSTED October 8, 2010 11:24 p.m.

The body of a man was found Wednesday afternoon near Gustine and the Merced County Sheriff’s Department is investigating it as a homicide.

The man was identified by the sheriff’s department as Cesar Santoyo Gallegos, 33.

The man was found in an almond orchard by a group of farm workers, said sheriff spokesman Deputy Tom MacKenzie. The orchard is just south of Gustine, on Highway 33, near Borba Road.

The workers noticed the man lying on the ground when they went to lunch, but thought him to be asleep, MacKenzie said.

When the workers returned they saw that the man had not moved and went over to check on him.

They found the victim bloody, his hands tied, and “obvious signs of foul play,” MacKenzie said.

A cause of death has not been released.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the sheriff’s department at 385-7472.

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