The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Fredericksburg Police probe homicide
BY PORTSIA SMITH
Fredericksburg Police are investigating a suspicious death at a homeless camp as a homicide.
Police identified the victim as 43-year-old Armando Escobar and said his body had “obvious signs of trauma.”
At 10:13 a.m. Wednesday, city police received a 911 call that a man in a homeless camp behind the Central Park Townhomes appeared to be dead, said department spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe.
Police officers and Fire Department personnel searched the heavily wooded area at the end of Roffman Road and found a body inside a tent, she said.
“Due to obvious signs of trauma to the body, the case is being investigated as a homicide,” Bledsoe said.
Escobar was known to live in and around the Bragg Hill corridor since 2008, Bledsoe said.
Police do not know how long he had been homeless, but a neighbor said he believes the man has lived in those woods for more than a year.
Police said he was well-known in the neighborhood, particularly in the Hispanic community.
The Spanish-speaking neighbor said Escobar was originally from El Salvador and has a brother in the area. He said he had just seen Escobar Monday at a nearby store, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
Bledsoe said police were familiar with Escobar, who had several arrests for nonviolent crimes such as shoplifting and being drunk in public.
The makeshift camp where Escobar’s body was found is about a three-minute walk into the woods behind the townhouse complex.
There were about six abandoned mattresses and tents strewn around, and the area was littered with trash and beer bottles.
Police have not released the manner of death, but a twin-size mattress left at the scene appeared to have a bloodstain. No suspects have been taken into custody, Bledsoe said.
Escobar is the city’s second homicide case this year.
Nathaniel Dywayne Henderson, 35, was found with a gunshot wound to the head at his home on Brock Square in the Central Park Townhomes April 7. A suspect is scheduled to go to trial in that case in October.
Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419