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Man's death deemed a homicide
The man whose body was found lying outside a downtown church Saturday morning was murdered, police said.
“We have determined it is a homicide,” said Sgt. Jeff Auricchio, of the Yuma Police Department.
Police are currently withholding the man's identity pending notification of next of kin. They are also not yet releasing information as to the manner of death.
Yuma police and firefighters from the Yuma Fire Department were dispatched to the First United Methodist Church, located at 298 W. 3rd St., at about 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning for a report of a man down.
Officers and firefighters found the body of a deceased man lying in a stairwell along the west wall of the church, which faces 3rd Street.
Auricchio said the circumstances surrounding the death are still under investigation at this time.
Parts of the 200 block of S. 3rd St. were closed to the public during the investigation. Westbound traffic on Giss Parkway was also reduced to one lane.
Saturday's homicide was the first murder of 2013 for the city of Yuma.
The Yuma Police Department encourages anyone with any information about this case to please call Sgt. Ron Rodriguez at (928) 373-4678 or 78-Crime to remain anonymous.
James Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.