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Missing Stockton Man Found Buried In Butte County; Suspect Identified

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Paul Moreno

Paul Moreno

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YANKEE HILL (CBS13) – While in the process of serving a search warrant at a suspected drug house, Butte County sheriff’s detectives discovered a grave that contained the body of a Stockton man who was reported missing in March.

Detectives went to the residence on Lower Gulch Road in Yankee Hill and located a butane honey oil lab, several firearms, a stolen vehicle and methamphetamine. During the search of the property, detectives located an area consisting of freshly disturbed dirt that was giving off a foul odor. The area was excavated and a body was found.

david groves Missing Stockton Man Found Buried In Butte County; Suspect Identified

David Groves Jr.

An autopsy determined the cause of death to be from a gunshot wound. Shortly thereafter, detectives were able to use fingerprints to identify the victim as David Groves Jr., 26. Groves was reported missing to Stockton Police in March.

Paul Edward Moreno, 34, of Stockton has been identified as a suspect in Groves’ death. Moreno had been living at the Yankee Hill home for about a year, according to the sheriff’s office.

An arrest warrant charging one count of murder has been issued as well as a felony warrant charging Moreno with one count of manufacturing a controlled substance, cultivation and sales of marijuana, a felon in possession of ammunition and a firearm and vehicle theft.

Moreno is described as white, 5 feet, 9 inches tall, 175 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He is considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Butte County Sheriff’s Office at (530) 538-7671.

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