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Motorist with gunshot wound found dead in ditch near Turlock

Stanislaus County Sheriff’s vehicle
Stanislaus County Sheriff’s vehicle

A man was found dead in a vehicle southwest of Turlock early Tuesday morning.

The California Highway Patrol responded to the report at about 3 a.m. of a pickup in a ditch at Mitchell and August roads.

“Emergency personnel arrived on scene and it was determined the driver may have sustained injuries consistent with being shot,” said CHP Officer Thomas Olsen.

The case was turned over to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, which in a news release identified the victim as Miguel Angel Celestino-Garcia, 30, from Atwater. It said the vehicle had crashed and Celestino-Garcia suffered at least one gunshot wound.

Though he appeared deceased, lifesaving measures were performed on the victim, the Sheriff’s Department reported, but they were unsuccessful in reviving him.

Anyone with information on the crime is asked to call sheriff’s Detective David Hickman or Stanislaus Area Crime Stoppers at 209-521-4636. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward. Tips also can be submitted via