Discovery of dead body rattles nerves

SAN CLEMENTE The body of a man believed to be in his late teens or early 20s was discovered at about 6:15 a.m. Wednesday. His body was found just inside the entrance to a public tennis court at San Luis Rey Park in San Clemente.

"There is some trauma to the body that appears not to be self-inflicted. No weapon was found at the scene. So investigators are convinced it is a homicide," said Jim Amormino of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

So far authorities are not revealing exactly how the man died. However, by Wednesday afternoon investigators located a possible weapon about 200 yards away from the body. It appears to be a screwdriver that was dumped next to some public restrooms.

"It's a possible piece of evidence in the homicide case," said Amormino.

Investigators gathered bags of evidence they believe the man may have been killed late Tuesday night or early in the morning.

Kim Elliott just moved into a nearby apartment and recalls seeing a lot of vehicles passing by Tuesday night.

"I heard a scream, a very different scream not a loud scream, so it was a frightening different kind of scream. It was late at night around 10:30 to 11:30," said Elliott.

A resident discovered the body around 6:15 Wednesday morning.

Neighbors describe the area as normally quiet. Next to the tennis courts, there's a golf course, lawn bowling and a children's playground.

"It's really scary because this has never happened where we live, this is the first time this has ever happened, and now we're scared to go out or anything," said resident Laudet Fuentes.

"We're not sure what the victim was doing here, if he got into a confrontation with some other suspects at the park. What they were doing at the park is all still under investigation," said Amormino.

If you have any information about this case authorities ask that you call the Orange County Sheriff's Department at (714) 628-7170.


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