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Livingston police identify suspect in woman's death

LIVINGSTON -- Police say they have identified a suspect in the homicide case of a woman found dead near Second Street and Peach Avenue on Wednesday.

Investigators are hoping members of the public who know the suspect's whereabouts will step forward and help find him.

The suspect has been identified as Juan Pina, a Livingston man in his mid-30s, according to Livingston Police Lt. Sharon Silva. Pina is described at 5-feet-6-inches tall, about 200 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

He was last seen wearing a brown T-shirt with blue jeans, and he has a cut on one of his fingers or a hand, Silva said.

Silva said police are still trying to identify the victim in the case, adding that no further details are available.

Police responded to the scene shortly after 6 a.m. Wednesday after receiving a call of a possible homicide. The woman's body was found next to a trailer in the backyard of a home on the 1600 block of Second Street.

The victim's face was covered with blood, and her body was found clothed, police said.

Police said the woman appears to be in her mid-20s to mid-30s. A cause of death hasn't been released.

Silva said residents in nearby homes were interviewed, although no one reported seeing or hearing anything suspicious.

The homicide is the second reported this year in Merced County. The last reported homicide in Livingston happened in November 2006.

Livingston police are asking anyone with information about the crime or Pinaʼs whereabouts to call (209) 394-7916.

Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or