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BREAKING NEWS: Police investigate motel homicide
Ceres police are investigating a Friday morning homicide at the Howard Johnson Inn on Herndon Avenue.

A guest in Room 132 in the center courtyard building of the lodge walked out the door of her motel room and saw the body of a young Hispanic man, clad only in boxer shorts, dead from a gunshot wound. The man, judged to be between 20 and 30 years of age, was lying on the sidewalk and leaning on the pillar in front of Room 133. A small pool of blood was around the body. She contacted management who called police at 7:13 a.m.

The victim has not been identified nor had any identification been found. Police were attempting to secure a search warrant to enter the motel room to search for clues.

Sgt. Chris Perry said his agency has arrested no suspects nor found any eyewitnesses. None of the guests reported hearing any gunfire.

"From what I'm getting these rooms are so tight they can't even hear the freeway noise from inside the rooms," commented Sgt. Perry.

The rooms involved face Highway 99 a short distance away.

Police have no idea how long the victim was lying outside the motel mortally wounded. He was cold to the touch when emergency personnel arrived.

Perry said the man was shot in the mid back and the bullet exited the front of his torso. It appeared that he was shot only once.

About eight guests at the motel were interrogated and released by 10 a.m., said Perry, but their contact information and license numbers were taken down for future contact if necessary.

Perry would not speculate on a motive but said a search of two rooms may yield more clues. A search warrant was expected to be obtained by afternoon. Investigators, led by Detective James Robbins, were trying to determine if the victim was linked to any of the vehicles in the parking lot. The body was discovered in front of two parked pickups, a gray Dodge Ram 1500 and a red Chevy Colorado.