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February 26, 2014

Homicide reported in Stevinson

A 37-year-old Stevinson man found dead in his home Wednesday morning may have been shot, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department reported.

A 37-year-old Stevinson man was found dead in his home Wednesday morning and appeared to have been shot, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department reported.

Casey DeSalles was found by a neighbor just after 5 a.m. inside his home in the 19000 block of Sixth Avenue in Stevinson, Sgt. Jeff Coburn confirmed.

Deputy Delray Shelton, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department, said the victim appeared to have been shot at least once.

Sheriff’s Department officials said they would wait for an autopsy to confirm the cause of death.

No arrests have been made.

“There is no indication, at least at this time, that this incident was gang-related,” Coburn said.

He said there is “some indication” that the home was “connected to marijuana,” but said it was too early in the investigation to elaborate further.

It was not immediately clear how long DeSalles had been dead when a neighbor found his body. It was also unclear what prompted the neighbor to check on DeSalles inside the home, though Coburn said it “appears to have been a routine check.”

Deputies said they would wait for autopsy results before commenting on the number of times DeSalles was shot.

Coburn said the investigation is still in its early stages and that detectives are working to confirm many details.

DeSalles’ death marks Merced County’s fifth homicide in 2014. All five cases have involved firearms, and four remain unsolved.

Sheriff’s investigators are asking anyone with any information to contact the detectives unit at (209) 385-7472. Callers can remain anonymous.

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