By Dale Kasler
Folsom police said today they've found the corpse of a man believed to be a suspect connected to a homicide in Mariposa County.
The suspect was found dead in the Negro Bar area of Folsom Lake State Recreation Area following a manhunt that forced law enforcement officials to temporarily close the area.
Police said the body hadn't yet been identified, and it wasn't confirmed if the man was connected to the Mariposa case.
The incident began when park rangers early today found an unattended white Ford Ranger truck in the parking lot of Sudwerk Riverside Restaurant, on Greenback Lane near Negro Bar. The license plate was traced to the Mariposa case, and witnesses told Folsom police that the driver was in Negro Bar.
Park rangers cleared the area while Folsom police, assisted by Sacramento County sheriff's deputies, conducted a search. A white male was spotted in an off-trail area shortly after noon, and soon after the man was pronounced dead on the scene. Cause of death hasn't yet been released.
Tara Coleman, general manager of the Sudwerk restaurant, said police told her they were searching for a man wanted in connection with his wife's death.
The park area was closed for about four hours, as was the restaurant, as police officers and search dogs scoured the area. "They thought he had gone down to the river to kill himself," Coleman said.
Police said they believed the man was armed, but Browning was unable to confirm that a gun was found on the corpse. The park was reopened around 1 p.m., about four hours after it was closed.
Officials with the Mariposa sheriff's department had no immediate comment on the body found in Folsom. But earlier today, Mariposa authorities said they were investigating the homicide of a Sacramento woman identified as Tiffany J. Russell, 21.
Russell's body was found Friday in a rural area of the Lake Don Pedro Subdivision, a sprawling area that straddles Tuolumne and Mariposa counties.