The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Police still probe city man’s death
DETECTIVES WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ANYONE
WITH INFORMATION ABOUT HOMELESS VICTIM
BY PORTSIA SMITH
THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Fredericksburg police are still interested in talking with people who may have information about the city’s latest homicide victim, Armando Escobar.
According to Fredericksburg Police Department spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe, police have located and are questioning a man they think could have information that may help them with the case.
Police have located Juan Gonzales, who was known to frequent the heavily wooded area where Escobar’s body was found the morning of July 25.
Gonzales was found at Parker Farms in the Oak Grove area of Westmoreland County. He was transported from Westmoreland to Fredericksburg by police around 3 p.m. Friday, Bledsoe said.
Bledsoe said he is not considered to be a suspect, but may have information that may help police.
Escobar, 43, was found dead in a homeless camp known as “La Montaña,” or “the mountain,” in the Hispanic community. It is about a three-minute walk from the end of Roffman Road behind the Central Park Townhomes in Fredericksburg. Police have not released his cause of death.
Escobar was known to live in and around the Bragg Hill area since 2008, Bledsoe said. Police do not know how long he had been homeless, but a neighbor said he believes the man had lived in the woods behind the town homes for more than a year.
Bledsoe said he was well-known and well-liked in the neighborhood, particularly in the Hispanic community.
Escobar has a wife and two children who live in El Salvador. He also has two brothers, one of whom lives in Spotsylvania County, Bledsoe said.
He was a laborer and did odd jobs, such as taking out trash and mopping the floors at a local store, to get by, Bledsoe said.
She said the homeless people in that particular community are very self-sufficient and wouldn’t necessarily reach out to homeless centers for help.
Bledsoe also said police were familiar with Escobar, who had several arrests for nonviolent crimes such as shoplifting and being drunk in public. Bledsoe said anyone with information about this case should contact Detective Patrick Lamb at 540/654-5740.
She said Detective Lamb, who is fluent in Spanish, is concerned only with solving this homicide. The residency status of any individuals who wish to provide information is irrelevant and will not be questioned, she said.
Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419