Death evokes suspicion

The body of Emmett Salisbury, 36, is removed at 6 p.m. Monday from a thrift store on East Grand Avenue by investigators and mortuary staff. (CNJ staff photo: Sharna Johnson)

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff

Clovis police are investigating a death they’ve termed “suspicious” after the body of a 36-year-old man was discovered in a Clovis secondhand store Monday afternoon.

Emmett Salisbury was found by a friend about 1 p.m. Monday inside E’s Enterprises at 701 E. Grand Ave. Salisbury operated the small thrift store at the corner of Grand Avenue and Ross Street, police said.

District Attorney Matt Chandler was resistant to classifying the death as a homicide, citing a pending autopsy but said late Monday night, “at this point it does appear to be foul play.”

He declined to say if the store had been opened for business Monday. He said the last time anyone saw Salisbury alive was mid- to-late Sunday afternoon.

Chandler would not say if a weapon had been found at the scene or if there was a preliminary cause of death determination.

“I can’t comment due to the early hours (of the investigation) — at this point it’s too early to release details,” he said.

Salisbury had been dead for some time when his body was discovered, though exactly how long is yet to be determined, Clovis Police Lt. Patrick Whitney said.

Salisbury had a bloody wound in his shoulder, according to Whitney, who said it would be improper to speculate on the cause of the wound prior to an autopsy.

Salisbury’s body was removed from the scene around 6 p.m. Monday and transported by a local mortuary to the State Medical Investigator’s office for an autopsy to determine cause of death. Chandler said results are not expected before midday today.

Investigators were still processing the scene Monday night. Chandler said they were also preparing search warrants and conducting interviews, though he declined to say who was being interviewed or what locations would be searched.

Chandler asked the public for help in tracking Salisbury’s movements before his death.

Anyone with information is asked to call Curry County Crime Stoppers at 763-7000.
Former co-worker Debbie Herring was shocked to hear of Salisbury’s death.

A manager at Dave’s Coffee Shop, she said Salisbury worked there as a dishwasher and waiter last year. She recalled seeing him in passing Sunday afternoon and said he appeared to have a fresh haircut and looked good.