Merced police believe the woman whose body was dumped in a trash bin last month in a G Street alleyway was not from Merced County.
The woman, whose name has not been released, was found dead early Feb. 6 behind a pharmacy in the 3100 block of G Street. Investigators have not commented on the exact cause of death, citing a need to protect the investigation, but have confirmed it’s being pursued as a homicide.
Merced County Undersheriff Jason Goins said coroner’s and Merced Police Department investigators are working together to locate the woman’s family.
“We do believe we have identified her, but it’s been more difficult than usual locating and notifying next of kin,” Goins told the Sun-Star.
Merced police Capt. Bimley West said the victim, an adult woman, did not live locally, but said commenting further on her city of residence could hamper the investigation.
“The detectives are still actively working to determine where she died,” West said. “We know she obviously was taken to Merced, but it’s still unknown where she died and it may have been outside the city and county of Merced. That’s something they’re working on now. It’s not a cold case.”
Detective-Sgt. Curt Gorman said the victim was of Chinese origin, in her 30s, about 5-foot-2 and weighed about 95 pounds at the time of her death.
Police said that if they’re unable to locate the woman’s family in the near future, they may release her identity and other information regarding the case, but for now they hope to inform the victim’s family in person.
“We wouldn’t want anyone to find out about the death of a loved one through the media,” West said on Wednesday.
West did say investigators would like to speak with anyone who may have information about the case and said even the smallest detail could help detectives significantly.
“And anyone who calls with information can remain anonymous – they don’t have to give their name,” West said. “But if they would contact us and tell us what they may have seen – anything that could be related to the victim being dumped there, that could help.”
The death marked the first homicide of the year in the city of Merced. A total of four homicides have been reported countywide in 2017.
The Merced Police Department is asking anyone with information, or who may have traveled through the alley Feb. 5 or early Feb. 6, or possibly may know anything at all regarding the case, to call Detective Jeff Horn at 209-385-7739, the information desk at 209-385-6912 or Sgt. Curt Gorman at 209-385-4706.
Rob Parsons: 209-385-2482