Investigators are trying to determine if a decomposed body found in unincorporated Fremont is that of a 27-year-old East Palo Alto man who was reported missing in February, an Alameda County Sheriff's spokesman said Friday.
Investigators found a man's body at about 12:15 p.m. Thursday in a hidden area off the side of Niles Canyon Road about a mile east of Mission Boulevard. Sheriff's spokesman J.D. Nelson said Friday the body is likely that of Francisco Lopez, but because it was decomposed it will take time to make a final determination.
In the early morning hours of Feb. 26, Lopez and his brother went to a house on Standish Avenue in unincorporated Hayward that had a large marijuana growing operation, Nelson said. Their visit "turned sideways," he said, and Lopez and his brother were attacked by armed men at the house. Lopez's brother was able to escape, but Lopez was never found, he said.
Nelson said it's not clear what happened at the house, and investigators don't know if Lopez and his brother were trying to buy drugs at the house or if they had planned to steal drugs from the people living there.
Authorities haven't yet determined exactly how long the body had been decomposing and only know it was between one month and one year, Nelson said.