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Ceres Auto Body Shop Owner Arrested After Body Found In Freezer

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Nick Janes Nick Janes
Nick Janes joined KOVR/KMAX in December 2008 as a reporter. Nick...
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CERES (CBS13) — An auto body shop owner was arrested after a man’s body was found inside a freezer at the Ceres business.

The victim’s identity isn’t known, nor how long the body was in the freezer. What we do know is the owner of the auto body shop is behind bars without bail a day after the grisly discovery.

The discovery at the nondescript auto shop in a Ceres industrial park off of Highway 99 has workers at nearby shops spooked.

“Turns out a dead body in a freezer or something, and it kinda tripped me out,” said Joe Phillips. “I don’t wanna be working that much overtime anymore, know what I mean?”

Police say the landlord thought his tenant at The Shop Customs had abandoned the place. when he went for a look on Monday, that’s when investigators say he came across a man’s body inside a freezer.

Detectives say the body is intact, but they don’t know who he is, how long he’s been in there, or how he died.

“The victim was found in a freezer, and the freezer was on,” said Det. Darren Venn.

Jacob Cervantes of Modesto was arrested for murder.

Nearby workers say they rarely saw cars coming and going—which is odd for an auto body shop.

Both numbers for the business are out of service.

Police say it could take a few days for the coroner to identify the victim. There’s no word on a motive or possible connection between the suspect and the victim.

Cervantes' mugshot. (Credit: Ceres Police)

Cervantes’ mugshot. (Credit: Ceres Police)

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