Deputies identify body found near field in Nipomo

The man found dead near a large broccoli field in Nipomo on Monday has been identified as Pedro Gonzalez of Guadalupe, sheriff’s Cmdr. Brian Hascall said.

Detectives have ruled the 32-year-old man’s death a homicide, Hascall said. He declined to discuss other details, including Gonzalez’s occupation, how he ended up in the field, or the number of witnesses being interviewed by detectives.

Hascall said the Sheriff Department’s search-and-rescue team recovered yellow flags commonly used as markers for such things as underground pipelines and are considering them evidence.

Detectives are “knee deep in the investigation” and looking into multiple leads, Hascall said.

Gonzalez’s body was found by a passerby at 6:49 a.m. along Bonita School Road about a quarter-mile from Division Street, amid hundreds of acres of farmland and about a half-mile from the nearest house.

He was found in a ditch by an employee of San Ysidro Farms, which owns the nearby broccoli fields. Gonzalez was not an employee of San Ysidro Farms, office manager Tracy McGinley said.

Anyone with information is urged to call sheriff’s detectives at 781-4500, 781-4550 (after hours), or Crime Stoppers at 549-STOP.