ELK GROVE (CBS13) — Investigators are calling the death of a 75-year-old man on a walking trail Thursday a homicide.

Police say he was going about his normal routine, walking around the neighborhood picking up recyclables.

“Someone that’s harmless, never bothered anyone, wasn’t a threat, now look at him,” said neighbor Mike Flud.

The Elk Grove man was found dead near a walking trail near Whitelock parkway and Bellaterra Drive.

Police say he left his home around 7 a.m. on Thursday. When he didn’t return home, his family went looking for him.

“They became concerned around 10:30 when he had not returned, and they began looking for him,” said Elk Grove Police spokesman Chris Trim. “And shortly after we received our phone call a relative found him at this location.”

Detectives canvassed the scene looking for clues not once, but twice. They say the grassy area isn’t frequented by joggers or very many people at all.

Police say there are obvious signs of trauma to his body, and they are exploring all possibilities.

“To know it happened so close to home, it’s a bit unnerving,” Flud said.

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