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Man, 28, Found Slain on Dirt Road in Piru

The victim's family reported him missing after he failed to return home from a market trip.

August 17, 2003|Holly J. Wolcott | Times Staff Writer

A 28-year-old Camarillo man who failed to return home from a trip to the market the night before was found dead on a dirt road in Piru early Saturday morning, authorities said.

The body of Jorge Lopez Cervantes was found wrapped in a blanket about 2 a.m. on Holser Canyon Road, about 50 feet from Piru Canyon Road, according to Ventura County Sheriff's Sgt. Ernie Montagna. A passing driver spotted the body and called 911.

Authorities declined to release the preliminary cause of death except to say there were no obvious gunshot or knife wounds. But evidence on the body indicated Cervantes was the victim of a homicide. An autopsy is scheduled for today.

When Cervantes failed to return Friday night, family members and friends went searching for him, authorities said. They found Cervantes' car abandoned at a shopping center near his home.

Early Saturday, Cervantes' family filed a missing-persons report with the Sheriff's Department. Authorities were investigating whether Cervantes was kidnapped from the market and then dumped on the roadside.

Cervantes had a lengthy criminal history, including convictions and jail sentences for assault with a deadly weapon, spousal abuse, battery, petty theft and drunk driving, according to court records.

Cervantes' death is the 30th homicide in Ventura County this year.

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