Body Found in Petaluma Dump Identified

A very sad end to the life of North Bay homeless man

An employee at a recycling center near Petaluma discovered the body of deceased transient man among debris on Friday afternoon, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to a recycling center in the 2500 block of Petaluma Boulevard South at 1:40 p.m. in response to a report of a dead body.

Upon arrival, a Novato Disposal employee directed deputies inside a recycling warehouse that is used as a transfer station, where the deceased body was located. Sheriff's deputies have identified the deceased man as 30-year-old Luis Gomez-Diaz. Deputies said there were no obvious signs of trauma that would lead investigators to believe the death was a homicide.

However, the death has been deemed suspicious and remains under investigation. Based on preliminary investigations, deputies said the deceased appears to have been transported by a recycling truck from a commercial business recycling Dumpster, possibly located in Petaluma, to the transfer station.

A transfer station employee in the recycling warehouse then located the body. Detectives from the Sheriff's Office Violent Crimes Unit and Crime Scene Investigations Unit are currently investigating the case.

Deputies said that Gomez-Diaz was last seen on Thursday evening in Santa Rosa. Gomez-Diaz was originally from Mexico and had lived in both Eureka and Santa Rosa. Gomez-Diaz was currently transient. He often stayed with family members in Santa Rosa and had contacts in the Petaluma area, according to deputies.

At the time Gomez-Diaz was discovered he was wearing a blue t-shirt, a gray zippered and hooded sweater, blue jeans and black tennis shoes, deputies said. Investigators are trying to determine how Gomez-Diaz might have arrived in the Petaluma area and are asking for information from anyone who may have seen him prior to his death.

Anyone with information regarding Gomez-Diaz is asked to contact Detective Brandon Cutting at (707) 565-8856.

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