The industrial park west of Highway 99 and south of Whitmore Avenue became a crime scene Monday afternoon after the grisly discovery of human remains stored inside a freezer.
"The guy was frozen," said Ceres Police Sgt. Jose Berber. "I think it was a guy but it hasn't been confirmed."
Police arrested Jacob Medina Cervantes, 26, in connection with the case. Apparently he showed up at the police station after learning officers wanted to speak with him.
Ceres Police detectives called in state Department of Justice forensic crime scene experts Monday evening to help process the scene at 1828 Whitmore Avenue, Suite A.
A sign on the building identified the building as The Shop Customs, dealing in custom paint jobs, frame up restoration and mechanical repairs.
The Monday discovery of the body began when Ceres Police were called by the landlord of the industrial park. The landlord had leased a blue warehouse building tucked behind the northernmost row of buildings to the owner of the auto shop and feared the operation was abandoned. The owner of one of the four vehicles found stored inside the building became alarmed because he could not contact the shop owner about the status of his vehicle. One police official described the auto shop owner as "pretty flaky" with a history of abandoning work sites and leaving vehicles and car parts behind.
Police were present when the shop was entered to make entry and it was learned the vehicle hadn't been touched. At first police didn't bother to open the chest-type freezer because of items stacked on it. Officers left the scene but were called back at approximately 3 p.m. after the landlord, who was in the process of changing the locks and removing the vehicles and tools, opened the freezer and found the body.
Because the body was frozen, the entire freezer was transported to the county coroner's office for an autopsy to determine how the victim died.
Sgt. Berber said detectives "don't anything about this body."