by Linda Mumma

MODESTO (CBS13) — A memorial is growing outside a shopping center in Modesto where police said a 31-year-old man was killed this week.

Officers aren’t releasing very many details surrounding the man’s death which is leaving people who frequent the area uneasy. Flowers, candles and messages from the victim’s mom now sit outside the building police taped off on Monday morning.

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“I just learned about it so it’s really puzzling,” said neighbor Joshua Martinez, who stopped at the Liquor Locker for a soda.

Martinez lives in a nearby apartment complex and told CBS13 he would see the victim police identified as 31-year-old Randall Cisneros-Heimburger.

“I’d see him probably three times a week,” said Martin. “He would just kind of walk around in a trance, but he never had any problems with anybody so I don’t see why anyone would do anything bad to him.”

Martin and several others described Cisneros-Heimburger as a “sad character” who kept to himself.

“He didn’t really talk much, but you could tell he had emotional problems,” added Martin.

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Those who were familiar with Cisneros-Heimburger are trying to figure out why anyone would kill such a quiet man who was known to sleep on the doorstep behind the building on Standiford and Prescott.

“Every now and then people would give him cigarettes, change, lottery tickets,” said Martin. “This was his hangout. So if you came for laundry or beer or anything in this area you’d see him.”

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On Monday, shoppers were shocked to learn about Cisneros-Heimburger’s death.

“For this to happen, it just blows your mind,” said one neighbor.

The discovery was initially investigated as a suspicious death, but police later upgraded it to a homicide, but wouldn’t say why. On top of that, investigators wouldn’t reveal how he died.

“They don’t know if it was a gun or a knife; if he got shot or stabbed. There was a lot of blood,” said Martin.

This is leaving people in Modesto anxious about what happened.

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“It’s sad. This has become a fact of life. And a way of life,” said a neighbor.

“I live across the street so it may be time to relocate,” added Martin.

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Police said they don’t know exactly when the victim was killed. An employee at one of the businesses told officers when he was in the loading area on Sunday the man’s body was not there.