Officials investigating ‘suspicious death’

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Clovis Police Department are investigating what they’ve termed a “suspicious death” of a man at a home on 14th Street near Rencher.

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

Clovis police found a man dead Tuesday morning after responding to a report of a stabbing in a 14th Street home, records show.

Officials had not identified the victim early Tuesday night nor determined the cause of his death.

They termed the death “suspicious” but would not say if they suspected foul play.

Police Capt. Patrick Whitney said officers responded to 317 14th Street after a man called to report an aggravated battery.

They found the body of an unidentified man lying inside the doorway of the home and the area’s Major Crimes Unit was activated, he said.

Police records show the caller told police just before 9 a.m. he had information about someone who had “stabbed someone in the heart.” Efforts to reach police for comment on the statement weren’t successful.

Whitney said the body had been in the house more than a day. He said he could not speculate exactly how long it lay undiscovered.

Officers put on white coveralls and masks and combed the area more than five hours, taking photographs and collecting evidence.

They could be seen outside the home examining a New Mexico drivers license found in a black wallet.

As the medical investigator removed the body around 4 p.m., officers were serving a search warrant next door at 319 14th Street.

“We have an ID we found on the body but we don’t know if that’s who it is,” Whitney said. An autopsy had been ordered.

Based on the identification found on the man, Whitney said officers are attempting to contact next of kin. He said they will attempt to construct a timeline with help from the victim’s family.

Whitney said officers are also interviewing the man who led them to the scene and have several persons of interest they are questioning. He declined to identify the caller.

Christopher Sena, who lives nearby on Rencher Street, said the neighborhood is a quiet one.

“We all watch out for each other,” he said. “It’s sad.”

Sena said he has met the man living at 319 14th Street but had not seen anyone living in 317 where the body was found.

“They don’t even look like they’re habitable,” he said of the two small matching rectangular homes.

The homes are located a little more than a block from James Bickley Elementary School.

Police diverted traffic for nearly a block of 14th Street near Rencher Street most of the day.