Death investigation ongoing after man’s body found along SR-89

BURNEY — Officials are conducting an unattended death investigation after a man’s lifeless body was found behind a pickup truck along SR-89, north of SR-299E, early yesterday evening, Saturday, Sept. 14. The victim was discovered by a Shasta County Sheriff’s Sgt., who spotted a vehicle with its door’s open near the old railroad crossing at MM24, about two and a half miles north of the junction of Highways 299E and 89.

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Contacted for information about the ongoing death investigation, Shasta County Sheriff’s Sgt. Marc St.Clair told SCNS in a telephone interview that he was on patrol at around 6:32 p.m., when he spotted the vehicle, later described as a white pickup truck with its doors open.

Thinking the vehicle might be broken down and the occupants possibly stranded, the Sgt. said he pulled over to investigate, at which time he located an “elderly man” on the ground behind the vehicle.

Based on St.Clair’s training and experience, he could see the victim had obvious signs of being deceased, and requested coroner officials to the location. The Sgt. said his department’s preliminary investigation did not uncover any signs of foul play or any evidence at the scene that would immediately indicate anything suspicious about the man’s death.

The victim has not yet been publicly identified, pending further investigation and notification of the man’s family.

During his subsequent investigation, St.Clair learned the pickup truck would not start, indicating that the vehicle may have suffered a mechanical malfunction leading to the victim pulling off the two-lane mountain highway onto the road’s shoulder, where he was later found deceased.

Several area residents later reported seeing the man working on his broken down vehicle with one local saying when they passed the pickup another vehicle was at the scene and someone was helping the victim. It was not immediately known how long after the victim was seen working on his vehicle that he passed away.

Coroner officials eventually responded to the scene and took custody of the victim’s body.

According to St.Clair, the Sheriff’s investigation is ongoing.

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information is available.


Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta 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, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s 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 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

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