STOCKTON, CA - Authorities are investigating the brutal murder of a man in south Stockton.
Sources close to the investigation said the victim, 38-year-old Francisco Nunez Maldonado, was found bound and gagged. His wife made the gruesome discovery.
Stockton police have not confirmed that information, but said there were obvious signs of foul play.
Officer Joe Silva said authorities were called to the 1000 block of South American Street at 3:16 p.m. Thursday for a disturbance call. Maldonado was found dead, but Silva could not provide any more information. Officials were also staying tightlipped about a possible motive.
Silva said Maldonado's car was taken from the home and was later recovered in the county.
Families trick or treating on Halloween night ran into the crime scene in the middle of their neighborhood.
"You don't want your kids to see that," father Lazaro Ramirez-Mendoza said. "You don't want your kids to be scared."
Neighbors said a family lived in the home; a mother, father and a young boy.
A memorial for another murder victim killed last year sat across the street from where the man was killed.
Cops said this part of Stockton is a high crime area with a lot of gang activity.
"I don't understand what's going on with these kids these days," neighbor Hector Martinez said. "They shoot, shoot, shoot. That's it."
Still, parents were saddened by the violence on a night where trick or treaters should be able to walk the streets safely.
"It's something we always do every year," Ramirez-Mendoza said. "I hope we are safe tonight."
The murder brings the total number of homicides in Stockton to 27 this year. There were 61 homicides at this time last year.