Body found in hills of south Santa Clara County

August 13, 2010 11:32:11 AM PDT
There has been a stunning discovery in a popular marijuana-growing area in Santa Clara County. A body was found in the hills near Morgan Hill.

Heavy fog had been holding back investigators from safely searching beyond where they found the body early Friday morning. Now it's turned into a clear day, they're finally able to go in. ABC7 News has learned the victim is a man, but investigators are not saying much about whether this is connected to any criminal activity up in the hills.

"It's nice, it's peaceful, quiet. We've never had any trouble, except for some teenagers partying at night," said resident Franz Mayrhofer.

Mayrhofer was surprised to hear of a possible murder in the south Santa Clara County hills around his home. His morning walk with his dogs had to take a different path because it was blocked by sheriff's deputies.

"About 1:40 this morning, we received a call of a suspicious circumstance here in this area. The deputies responded and they found a dead body up on the ridge," said Santa Clara Co. Sheriff Dept Sgt. Rick Sung.

The body found is in a rural area just outside Morgan Hill city limits, and just east of Uvas Reservoir, off of Prom Drive. It's still unclear who called for help.

"That reporting party is being interviewed by our investigators as we speak at this moment, but that person was able to show us where the body was," said Sung.

Getting to the off-road location has been challenging. And while a crime scene investigation unit was called in overnight, investigators had to stall a pre-dawn search of the area, because of tall brush and thick fog.

"When we were saying that we're securing the scene where the dead body was found, obviously there could be some people out there that may be a threat to our deputies, a threat to our residents in the area," said Sung.

The crime scene will be secured until investigators can go in and determine what happened up there, and whether it's related to some other criminal activity.

"Is that a marijuana grow operation up there?" asked ABC7's Teresa Garcia.

"That hasn't been determined yet," said Sung.

"We want to find out what happened," said Mayrhofer.

Details may be released on how the victim died after the Santa Clara County coroner completes its investigation.


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