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Sheriff: 'Suspicious death' ruled a homicide, gunshot wounds found

Just after nine in the morning Monday, April 8th, a Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) deputy responded to a report of a possible dead body near Yreka Walker Road in the Klamath River area

Posted: Apr 9, 2019 6:23 PM
Updated: Apr 10, 2019 4:54 PM

SISKIYOU COUNTY, Calif. —

UPDATE: The investigation into the death of California man found dead in a Siskiyou County ravine has been ruled a homicide after an autopsy found "gunshot wounds."

Deputies found the body at the bottom of a ravine near the little community of Klamath River.

"An extensive crime scene investigation was conducted by detectives and MCU’s forensic technician. The victim was identified and his next-of-kin has been notified," the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) said in a statement today.

The victim, 31-year-old Spencer Richard Hodgson, was staying at a house in Klamath River, but had previous ties to the Santa Cruz area.

An autopsy performed on Wednesday determined that Hodgson had died as a result of gunshot wounds, prompting SCSO to consider the case a homicide.

Now the investigation continues. SCSO believes that Hodgson's truck, a white 2010 Toyota Tundra pickup, was stolen. The truck has the California license plate number 8S04739, may have a broken right-rear window with orange plastic covering over it, and possibly a second broken window as well.

"If the vehicle is located contact your local law enforcement agency by dialing 9-1-1. Please do not approach the pick-up or anyone in or about the vehicle," SCSO said.

SCSO said again that there "is no reason to suggest the public is endangered," but nonetheless recommended that residents of the Klamath River area keep their homes and vehicles locked, and dial 911 if any suspicious people or activities are sighted.

“On behalf of the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, I would like to offer our condolences and prayers to Mr. Hodgson, his family, friends, and associates in the aftermath of his tragic death," said Sheriff Jon Lopey.

(Updated 4/10/19 at 5 p.m.)


INITIAL REPORT: Just after nine in the morning Monday, April 8th, a Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) deputy responded to a report of a possible dead body near Yreka Walker Road in the Klamath River area.

Klamath River is a small, rural community about 27.6 miles northwest of Yreka near the Klamath River.

The deputy confirmed the body was that of a deceased adult and SCSO’s Major Crimes Unit responded to the scene. At this time, the case is being handled as a suspicious death. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday, April 10th to help investigators determine the cause and manner of death in the case.

Although there is no determination on the cause and manner of death in this case, there is no reason to believe there is an existing threat to area residents.

If anyone has information about this case, you are urged to call SCSO's 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900.

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