Body Discovered Near Lake Elsinore Identified As Missing Man, Prompting Homicide Case

A body found near Lake Elsinore, that of a man missing since June, has prompted a homicide investigation

By Craig Fiegener and Julie Brayton
|  Friday, Jul 27, 2012  |  Updated 9:31 PM PDT
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A body discovered near Lake Elsinore on July 19 has been identified as a 58-year-old Leopoldo Navarrete. According to officials, Navarrete had been missing since June and his death is being investigated as a homicide.  Craig Fiegener reports from Lake Elsinore for NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on July 26, 2012.

Craig Fiegener, James Wulff

A body discovered near Lake Elsinore on July 19 has been identified as a 58-year-old Leopoldo Navarrete. According to officials, Navarrete had been missing since June and his death is being investigated as a homicide. Craig Fiegener reports from Lake Elsinore for NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on July 26, 2012.

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The gruesome discovery was made in a field near Lake Elsinore. It was a decomposing body wrapped in a blanket.

That was July 19. Nearly a week later confirmation that it was Leo Navarette, a 58-year-old who has been missing for more than a month.

"I think the worse was not knowing. Those 41 days were awful for the whole family," Leo's younger sister Alicia Trevizo said

Trevizo says a family friend last saw Leo Navarette at a Circle K on June 8, six days before they filed a missing-persons report.

Then a body was found last week, according to a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department news release, near Akley and Gillette streets in the unincorporated Lakeland Village area.

Dental records confirmed it was Leo Navarette. His car was spotted near the Circle K.

"Of course it was under suspicious conditions, because they tried to incinerate the car and the keys were in the ignition," Trevizo said.

Sheriff officials are investigating. They ask that anyone with information regarding this incident contact Sheriff's Central Homicide.

"It was devastating," says Trevizo, "because he was such a kind kind, kind man."

A private memorial will be held Saturday.

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