Man’s body found in woods

OKEECHOBEE — The body of a 54-year-old Hispanic man was found March 24 in a wooded area near N.E. 60th Avenue and a sheriff’s office detective is now asking for the public’s help.

According to information released by the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) the case is being classified as a homicide, although the cause of death is not being released at this time.

The man has been identified as Clemente Garcia.

OCSO Detective Javier Gonzalez said Tuesday, April 5, that Mr. Garcia was currently unemployed and was living with family members. The victim, continued the detective, has been in Okeechobee seven to 10 years.

Clemente Garcia

Clemente Garcia

Detective Gonzalez went on to say there were no visible wounds on the body.

“We knew he was injured, but we just didn’t know what the wounds were,” the detective added.

OCSO public information officer Michele Bell said the sheriff’s office was called March 24 about an unresponsive man lying on the ground near a pathway in the wooded area. She went on to explain that the path leads from the neighborhood to a grocery store and gas station on S.R. 70 E., and is frequently used by those living in that community.

Deputy DeMarcus Dixon responded to the 1,000 block of N.E. 60th Avenue at 1:44 p.m. OCSO detectives Howard Pickering and Corporal Ted Van Deman were also called to the scene.

Because no one could speak English, the case was assigned to Detective Gonzalez, who is now the lead investigator on the case and is currently trying to gather more information.

The detective said Mr. Garcia was known to frequent the Marathon Gas Station on S.R. 70 East, which is adjacent to the Mosquito Creek Grocery.

Even though an autopsy was completed March 25, Detective Gonzalez declined to release the cause of death.

Anyone having information about Mr. Garcia or this case is asked to contact Detective Gonzalez at 863-763-3117, ext. 5106.

If you choose to remain anonymous you can contact Treasure Coast CrimeStoppers at 1-800-273-8477. Or, you can leave your tip on the Treasure Coast CrimeStoppers website at www.tcwatch.org.

If your tip leads to an arrest you might be eligible for a cash reward.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.