Detectives investigate homicide in Half Moon Bay

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San Mateo County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a homicide in an unlikely place -  A bucolic seaside lookout in Half Moon Bay. Crime scene deputies spent much of the day dissecting a dirt parking lot on the southbound side of Highway 1. Investigators say a body was found here early Tuesday morning. Regular beachgoers are shocked and saddened by the discovery at such a serene location.

“That is not something that is usual. I haven’t heard of that happening before,” said beachgoer Michelle Vauclair. “ I’ll come here on my lunch break to take a walk or hunt for sea glass or whatever, and just kind of relax. And It’s always been very peaceful..”

Detectives say they received a call around 7 a.m. of a man down in a seaside parking lot near Tunitas Creek Beach. Emergency medical personnel responded, but the victim was dead at the scene.

“Based on the evidence at the scene we’re treating it as a homicide. And our detectives along with the coroner’s office are investigating it as such,” said Det. Rosemerry Blankswade of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.

The remoteness of the crime scene isn’t helping detectives determine the culprit in this who-done-it. A dusty dirt parking lot in between the highway and the coast line, with no visible security cameras. Some beachgoers and workers say they didn’t hear any suspicious noises at the time the victim was reported down in the parking lot. But they say the discovery hasn’t changed their perceptions of this coastal retreat, that’s a perfect spot for plucking jewels from the sea.

“I’m just kind of in shock. But I’ve never felt unsafe here at all,” said Vauclair, as she reached in her pocket to show seashells and other items she’d collected during her morning at the beach.

Investigators are hopeful someone will come forward with information that leads to an arrest, in what is this city’s second homicide of the year.