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Woman's body found near where mob attacked Modesto cop

A woman in her 20s was found shot to death in a parked car Saturday morning near a southwest Modesto park, police said.

Officers received a call at 1:30 a.m. of shots being fired near Robertson Road Park. They found the woman's body in a sedan on the east side of the park, on Hammond Street near Pelton Avenue.

The woman was not in the driver's seat, a police official said.

Police did not release the woman's name pending notification of her family.

Detectives did not have any suspects Saturday evening but were following up on leads.

Less than 100 yards from the homicide, bloodstains and scattered glass still could be seen on Pelton Avenue where a police officer and his dog were attacked March 29.

At 2 a.m. that day, the officer was surrounded by 20 to 60 people after he tried to break up a fight. Some of those in the crowd told the officer he would not make it out alive and threw glass bottles at him. The officer also was punched in the face, police said. Six people were arrested in that incident.

Police spokesman Sgt. Brian Findlen said Saturday it was too early to know if the shooting and the police face-off with the crowd were related.

While crime scene tape still was wrapped around a light post Saturday afternoon, the Robertson Road Park swing set was a popular destination among children. Other children kicked soccer balls on the grass and fathers pushed babies in strollers.

But some residents say they are concerned about the recent incidents.

One Pelton Avenue resident who lives near where the woman was found dead in the car said she heard gunshots early Saturday morning, which she said sounded like shots fired into the air, and a car driving away quickly. She awoke to crime scene tape and police officers investigating the shooting.

"It's not that I'm scared, because I grew up on this side of town so I'm used to the gunshots," the resident said. "It's nothing new to me. Now, I'm just getting worried for my child."

Investigators ask anyone with information about the shooting to call the Modesto Police Department at 572-9500 or Crime Stoppers at 521-4636. Tipsters also can text information to Crime Stoppers by sending a text message to 274637. Type "TIP704" along with the message.

Bee staff writer Merrill Balassone can be reached at mbalassone@modbee.com or 578-2337.

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