Relative of Man Found Dead in Thousand Palms: "It Has to be Murder"


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Relative of Man Found Dead in Thousand Palms: "It Has to be Murder"

By Matt Vanderveer. CREATED Dec 11, 2013

THOUSAND PALMS - Police say a man was found dead outside an apartment complex in Thousand Palms Wednesday morning. The complex is called Legacy. Police are releasing very little information but George Camargo says the victim is his brother-in-law, Rueben Cantu.

He says he doesn’t know all the specifics of the death but from what the rest of his family has said and the description of the injuries, he doesn’t believe Cantu committed suicide. "That's the only other possibility if you rule out suicide- it would have to be a murder. It would have to be a homicide. There's just no other explanation for it,” says Camargo.

Camargo came to the neighborhood to see his mother who lives on Robert Rd. near the crime scene. He noticed caution tape around building 'L', where the body was found, and knew something was wrong.

He says, shortly after, he found out what happened from his family. They confirmed his suspicions-- that his brother-in-law Rueben Cantu was found dead. "I mean he was like a brother to me-- a big brother,” says Camargo.

He says Cantu was a stand-up guy-- sober for more than 12 years. “He kept to himself; very nice and cordial man. It's just a shock, a complete shock to know that he's gone,” says Camargo.

Some neighbors can’t believe there could be a possible murder in their neighborhood. "I feel comfortable in the area. I walk my dog every day. People are friendly and talk to me,” says Thousand Palms resident Lisa Ottomann.

But add, nowhere is perfect. "There are some shady characters here, I have to say. I wish there were more police patrolling the area,” says Ottomann.

"I don't like my kids leaving the window open at night. I don't like them walking the dog late at night when they get home from work. I just take a lot of precaution,” says neighbor Irsia Campbell.

It's a day, Camargo says, the family will never forget. "No one can understand how something like this can happen, especially right before Christmas,” says Camargo.

With surveillance cameras on the premises, he hopes the truth comes out and the right people are brought to justice. "I pray the detectives do their work and whoever it is that did this is caught and held responsible for this-- because this man did not deserve to die like this,” says Camargo.

The investigation is ongoing-- anyone with information is asked to contact the Palm Desert Sheriff's Department or Crimestoppers at 341-STOP.