Coroner IDs body found in Hatfield Park near Hilmar

09/10/2013 12:00 AM

09/10/2013 12:13 AM

The Merced County coroner on Monday identified the body of a man discovered in Hatfield Park near Hilmar last week, Sheriff Mark Pazin reported.

The body of Manuel Garcia, 27, of Modesto was found about 7 p.m. Thursday with a gunshot wound to the chest, deputies said. Garcia was discovered by children fishing in the park near the Merced River.

Deputies found blood on the bridge and guardrails over the river.

Pazin said deputies were still investigating how Garcia ended up in the river. He may have been killed at another location and left in the park, Pazin said.

The Merced County and Stanislaus County sheriff’s departments are working together on the investigation.

There have been 13 homicides in Merced County this year.

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