A Turlock man who had pled guilty to sexually abusing a young girl and was awaiting sentencing was found dead at a Ceres church.
Robert Daniel Gomes, 34, was found dead at 12:44 a.m. Saturday in the parking lot at St. Jude’s Catholic Church at 3824 Mitchell Rd., in Ceres. His body was inside a black Chevy Tahoe parked outside the church.
The death is a suspected suicide from drug overdose, but the investigation will remain open pending toxicology results, according to the Ceres Police Department.
In August Gomes entered guilty pleas to eight felony counts of sexual abuse, including continuous sexual abuse of a child, sodomy, oral copulation, and unlawful sexual intercourse.
Gomes was accused of assaulting a 13-year-old girl over a three year period while he was dating her mother. The victim reported the abuse when she was 16 years old.
Gomes was facing up to 20 years behind bars for the multiple felony counts. In return for entering the guilty plea, Gomes stipulated he remain free on bail until his sentencing. He was scheduled to return to court on Sept. 23 to have his bail reviewed and possibly revoked, but he did not show up for his court appearance. A bench warrant was issued for him.