Man's Body Dumped in Barrel Outside Sonoma City Hall, 1 Arrested

The Sonoma County coroner's office Saturday identified a man found dead inside a plastic barrel in front of Sonoma City Hall, sheriff's officials said.

Sonoma police found the body of 64-year-old Ronald Gordon Sauvageau, of Cazadero, in a plastic barrel after receiving a report of illegal dumping at Sonoma Plaza around 11:50 p.m. on Friday, according to sheriff's Sgt. Cecile Focha.

Sheriff's officials said the coroner's office would conduct an autopsy on Tuesday to determine the cause and manner of death.

Police responded to the scene after a witness called to report seeing someone dump a barrel and a couch cushion in front of Sonoma City Hall about 15 minutes prior, Focha said.

Two sheriff's deputies responded to the plaza, where Focha said they found a 55-gallon plastic barrel with dried blood outside and the top covered with a blue tarp.

Inside, deputies found Sauvageau's body, she said.

An investigation by sheriff's deputies and Sonoma police led authorities to the Acacia Grove Mobile Home Park on state Highway 12 in Sonoma Valley, Focha said.

Deputies were able to determine Sauvageau had been killed in one of the mobile homes at the park, Focha said.

Two men were initially detained in connection with the homicide and authorities eventually arrested one of the men, identified as 40-year-old Christopher McNatt, of Sonoma, on suspicion of murder.

He is being held in county jail without bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday afternoon.

Detectives from the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office violent crimes unit are the lead investigators in the case, sheriff's officials said.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the sheriff's tip line at (707) 565-2185. Callers can remain anonymous.

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