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Victim found in river identified
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The man found floating in the Merced River Thursday was identified by the Merced County Coroner’s Office as Manuel Garcia, 27, of Modesto.

Garcia was found around 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the river near Hills Ferry Road in Newman and not far from the George J. Hatfield Park in Hilmar.

Garcia had at least one gunshot wound to the chest, according to the Merced County Sheriff’s Department.

Initial indications are that Garcia was shot somewhere else and dumped in the river, according to the sheriff’s department. Blood was found on the guardrail by the bridge and on the road.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the Merced County Sheriff’s Department at 385-7445.