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Body of homicide suspect found, investigators say

DELHI -- Merced County Sheriff's investigators have found the body of a man who allegedly shot a woman to death in rural Atwater.

Christopher James Marberry, 25, was sought by deputies for allegedly shooting Ramona Schmitz in the bedroom of her home in the 6600 block of Bailey Street.

Around 1 p.m. on Tuesday, sheriff deputies discovered his body inside of a black Lincoln Navigator, parked near Bloss Road and Sycamore Avenue in Delhi, according to Tom MacKenzie, sheriff's spokesperson. MacKenzie said the Lincoln Navigator had the same license plate number as a car taken from Schmitz's residence.

Marberry's body had one single gunshot wound to the head -- and he appears to have committed suicide.

On Sunday, deputies found Schmitz's body with multiple gunshot wounds in her bedroom, lying next to her 6-week-old daughter, who was in a swing. The child was unharmed -- and Marberry is believed to be her father.

The crime was reported by the victim's 6-year-old daughter, who told a neighbor about the shooting. The neighbor called 911 and found the victim lying in a pool of blood. Investigators believe Marberry and Schmitz had an on-again, off-again relationship.

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