UTAH — Police have released the name of a deceased man found Tuesday morning in a parking lot of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meetinghouse in Gunnison, along with a description of the events that may have led to his death.
The victim – identified as 21-year-old Ricardo Valencia, of Gunnison – was under the supervision of the Utah Department of Corrections Adult Probation and Parole after being released Monday from the Sanpete County Jail where he had been incarcerated, according to a statement issued by the Gunnison Valley Police Department.
Following a preliminary investigation, police believe Valencia had attended a party Monday night at a residence on the 100 North block of Gunnison City, where alcohol and possible illicit drugs were being used, police said in the statement.
“(Valencia) became involved in a confrontation with others at the party and was told to leave,” police said. “As he left the house, it was reported that he punched through a glass window, causing (Valencia) to receive a serious laceration to his arm, near the brachial artery, causing severe bleeding.”
Police believe Valencia was intoxicated as he left the party on foot.
Because Valencia was bleeding severely from his injury, it is suspected that he passed out from the loss of blood in the LDS church parking lot at 80 W. Center St. – approximately two blocks from the party, according to the statement, which noted that a blanket was found near Valencia that he may have used in an attempt to control the bleeding.
“He is believed to have died from a combination of blood loss and exposure to the elements in the cold weather,” Gunnison Valley Police said.
Officials were notified of the body being found at approximately 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Gunnison Valley Police, in cooperation with other law enforcement agencies, is continuing to investigate the incident, police said, noting that more than 30 individuals have been interviewed and a search warrant had been served at a Gunnison residence in relation to the case.
As this report is published, police said not all information is being released, pending the ongoing investigation and that additional details will be released as the investigation allows.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.
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