SAN RAFAEL, Calif. - Marin County Sheriff's Department confirmed on Friday that the death near China Camp State Park is being investigated as the first homicide of the year.
The body of a Latino male between the age of 20 and 30 was found earlier in the morning with no identification on his body.
Marin Co. Sheriff's Dept. investigating a homicide.
Brenton Schneider with the Marin County Sheriff's Department said a passerby noticed a person with blood and who looked like they needed medical attention.
Authorities said the victim was not shot, but did not provide further detail on how they were killed.
Sheriff's officials and California Highway Patrol were initially investigating a possible fatal medical emergency when their communications center received a call at around 8 a.m. They responded to Miwok Meadows at 1400 N. San pedro Road in San Rafael.
Marin Co. Sheriff's Dept. investigate a homicide.
The man's body was discovered off the roadway near the park, normally described and scenic an serene with its views of San Pablo Bay.
Because the area is under the jurisdiction of California State Parks, the sheriff's office was asked to take the lead on the investigation.
Investigators combed the woods for evidence from morning until dusk, blocking off the only section of roadway through the park.
Those who enjoy the area were surprised to hear of the homicide.
Marin Co. Sheriff's Department investigates a homicide.
"We've been out here a number of times and I've never seen...maybe one person on the trail," said Thomas Roedoc of San Rafael.
A Girl Scout troop of 11 children from the East Bay had arrived, ready to set up their tents for a weekend camping trip. They found the road closed and the reasons were unsettling.
" We're all unpacked. The girls are all excited. We'll assess the situation and see if it's safe or not," said the Girl Scouts guardian Lok Siu of Albany.
Marin County Sheriff's Department at the scene of a homicide investigation in San Rafael.
Officials said there is no ongoing threat to park visitors.
It appears the killing was targeted and not randonm.
"If you dropped a body here, it's because there's no one here at night. That would make sense," said Roedoc.
Marin Co. Sheriff's Department investigating the first homicide of 2019.
"Things can happen anywhere, but it might remind me to bring some things in my pocket or something. You never know," said Maya Daniels, who frequents the park.
Neighborhoods sit on both sides of the 1,500-acre park, but the park itself does not have surveillance cameras. Detectives said they'd reach out to residents who may have surveillance cameras if they identify a suspect or vehicle.
The park also lacks full-time park rangers. The state park security was turned over to a volunteer group with a security guard to save money.
North San Pedro Road was closed in both directions until 7:30 p.m., almost a full 12 hours after the body was discovered.