UPDATE: Family grieving after missing Winchester teacher’s body found
FRENCH VALLEY – Family and friends of a 45-year-old Winchester resident are in mourning after learning that sheriff’s officials located the missing man’s body in French Valley Sunday afternoon, May 14. The discovery ended a nearly two-week search for the missing man.
Alfredo “Fredo” Rodriguez, who was a teacher at Lake Elsinore’s David A. Brown Middle School and baseball coach, was last seen walking on Cottonwood Street in Winchester around 9:30 a.m. May 2, according to his family. He disappeared from his home without notifying anyone and reportedly left his home without his phone, keys and wallet.
Deputies reported that the body of a man matching Rodriguez’s description was found near Washington Street and Cottonwood Drive yesterday. The missing man’s body was found in the same area where bloodhounds had earlier lost his scent.
After Rodriguez went missing, his family and friends worked with sheriff’s officials, community leaders and other citizens to organize and coordinate extensive search efforts that included overhead drones, K-9’s, Sheriff’s Mounted Posse members from Norco, search parties and extensive use of social media to spread the word about the man’s disappearance.
Volunteers from throughout the southwest Riverside County area handed out flyers from Lake Elsinore all the way to Beaumont and Banning.
Sheriff’s bloodhounds tracked Rodriguez’ scent; however the K-9 eventually lost the missing man’s scent in the area of Washington Street and Cottonwood Drive. His body was later found in the same area where the K-9 had tracked his scent to.
After learning about the loss of their loved one, family members thanked the sheriff’s department and the community for their involvement and help trying to locate Rodriguez.
“The family would like to thank you for all the prayers and efforts that have been put into his search,” family members said in a statement released after they were notified about the discovery of Rodriguez’ body. “It’s with a heavy heart that we want to inform you that there is no longer a search in progress for Alfredo Rodriguez. He is with the Lord now. At this point, the family asks to please keep them in your prayers and respect their privacy during this difficult time.”
Rodriguez moved to Winchester last year after he was hired by the Lake Elsinore Unified School District. He previously taught at Indio’s Shadow Hills High School and Coachella’s Cahuilla Desert Academy.
Sheriff’s officials have not yet specified if foul play is suspected in Rodriguez’ death.
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Trevor Montgomery runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News and Anza Valley Outlook and also writes for Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg and breaking his back in an off-duty accident.
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.