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Man found dead in car's trunk

MONTEREY -- The body of a Los Banos man, believed to be the victim of a homicide, was found in the trunk of a car Sunday morning in Monterey County.

Monterey County sheriff's Cmdr. Jerry Teeter said the man, identified as Felipe Hernandez Bravo Jr., 24, was discovered in Moss Landing shortly after 9:30 a.m. by state parks lifeguard Eric Sturm. The vehicle was abandoned with its windows open off Potrero Road, near a bridge over the Old Salinas River channel, not far from the beach.

Teeter said the vehicle was discovered at the edge of the riverbed but had not entered the water.

The condition of the body, Teeter noted, indicated the man had died recently, because there was no apparent decomposition.

Investigators said evidence at the scene indicated foul play.

Teeter said an autopsy will be conducted today. The exact cause of death, investigators said, should be determined then.

Investigators say Bravo, who was identified through fingerprints, lived in Los Banos but was a frequent visitor to the Salinas area.

Dana Jones, sector superintendent for state parks, said Sturm was conducting a routine patrol of state property in the area when he saw the vehicle and went to investigate.

The car was not on state property, she said, so the investigation of the man's death will be conducted by the sheriff's office.

Teeter said Bravo is apparently the first homicide victim of the year in Monterey County.

Anyone with information related to Bravo's death is asked to call Monterey County sheriff's investigator Matt Davis or investigative Sgt. Terry Kaiser at (831) 755-3772 or the sheriff's tip line, (888) 833-4847.

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