DELHI — A 67-year-old man with at least one gunshot wound was found dead in his bed Tuesday morning, according to the Merced County Sheriff's Department.
Sheriff Mark Pazin said the man was found at 8 a.m. by a relative inside his home in the 9000 block of Sycamore Avenue in Delhi.
Pazin said the victim, whose name authorities had not released, had blood coming from his mouth and appeared to have been shot in the upper body.
According to Pazin, the relative had left the house for work on New Year's Eve, returned home in the morning and discovered the body.
Pazin said it is being considered a suspicious death at this point. "It had suspicious circumstances written all over it," he said Tuesday. "I can't get into all the details, but it was a suspicious death from the start."
Because the victim suffered an unattended death, a major crime unit was sent to the home to investigate, followed by the coroner-investigator.
The Sheriff's Department is not disclosing the number of gunshot wounds because the investigation is in progress, nor would officials disclose if a weapon was recovered inside the home.
Pazin said the Sheriff's Department is attempting to find a missing relative for questioning. "There is one person outstanding that normally stays at the house that we would like to talk with," Pazin said. "We're attempting to locate that person now."
Pazin said the Sheriff's Department is seeking help from other law enforcement agencies to find the person.
Authorities are trying to piece together how many family members lived inside the home with the victim.
Pazin said an autopsy will be conducted to determine the exact cause of death.
Reporter Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.