The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department confirmed Monday that a man was found shot to death last week near Oakdale.
According to a news release sent Monday evening, three witnesses at the Horseshoe Recreation Area to go fishing Wednesday afternoon came across the body as they walked toward the river. They said they did not know the man, and it was clear he was dead.
Earlier Monday, Stanislaus County Deputy Coroner Tom Killian identified the victim as Juan Jose Calvillo, 40, and said he had been shot to death.
Calvillo had lived in Oakdale and Waterford, but the Sheriff’s Department listed him as a Turlock resident at the time of his death.
An acquaintance of Calvillo’s said he had been reported missing before his body was found. The friend, who did not want her name published, said Calvillo recently had become active in a local Baptist church.
On Wednesday, Calvillo did not show up for a church project he was leading, which took other churchgoers by surprise because he had been a dedicated member.
She described Calvillo as a “decent man” who “was reading his Bible and attending church functions faithfully for quite some time now.”
“This was a man trying to succeed and be honorable,” the church pastor said in an email. He did not want his name or the name of his church used because the investigation is not complete. “He was just about to start a major construction project for our church – which would cost thousands – free of charge. He was a great dad who treated his kids so gently it was wonderful to watch.”
It is not clear when Calvillo died. Authorities did not release any information on the case, or even report the homicide, until The Modesto Bee inquired about Calvillo on Monday.
Detectives are following up on leads and ask anyone with information on the case to call Detective David Hickman at (209) 525-7042. Tipsters also can provide information anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 or texting to CRIMES (274637) and typing “Tip704” plus a message.