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Man who died at Beard Brook identified; coroner searching for family

Man found dead at Modesto’s Beard Brook park

A 911 call was received at 10:54 a.m. Saturday for a male camper was found unresponsive inside of his tent. Emergency medical personnel arrived and declared the man deceased, according to Modesto Police Lt. T.J. Moffett.
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A 911 call was received at 10:54 a.m. Saturday for a male camper was found unresponsive inside of his tent. Emergency medical personnel arrived and declared the man deceased, according to Modesto Police Lt. T.J. Moffett.

The Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office has identified the man who died at Beard Brook Park on Saturday and is now looking for his family.

Julio Alberto Ruiz, 43, was found dead inside his tent at the makeshift homeless encampment. His cause of death is pending toxicology results.

As many as 500 homeless live at Beard Brook Park, which the city opened for camping in September when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that municipalities could not prosecute people for sleeping outdoors if there are not enough shelter beds.

This is the first confirmed death at the park.

The Coroner’s Office is now looking for Ruiz’s family. Anyone with information can call Detective Matthew Dessert at 209-567-4480.

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Erin has been covering breaking news and crime at The Modesto Bee since 2010. She is a Humboldt State graduate and resides in Oakdale.
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