The mystery has deepened considerably.
Homicide mystifies investigators
Officials are trying to determine how a Tehama County man's body ended up at river parkway.
By Ryan Lillis -- Bee Staff Writer Published 12:01 am PDT Thursday, August 31, 2006
About all that's known regarding Rondal Raimer's death is that he was found in a patch of blackberry bushes wearing a new pair of cowboy boots.
Beyond that, how the 62-year-old man from a farming town two hours north of Sacramento wound up under a freeway overpass in the American River Parkway is a mystery. Also puzzling investigators is how his 1995 Chrysler Concorde ended up in flames on the side of Highway 99 in south Sacramento, less than 24 hours after his body was found by a transient Monday afternoon.
Police said Wednesday that Raimer's death was a homicide after the Coroner's Office reported he died from "multiple blunt force injuries." Raimer's family said his wallet was missing when his body was found.
"It's really tough not knowing what happened," said Dick Wolf, who is married to Raimer's twin sister, Kay.
A former commercial truck driver known by his friends as Ray, Raimer spent many of his weekends in Sacramento, Wolf said. Around 3 p.m. on Fridays, Raimer would leave the walnut farm he shared with his sister and Wolf outside Los Molinos and return in time for dinner Sunday evenings. Wolf said he knew little about what Raimer did in Sacramento.
"He had a bunch of lady friends down there," Wolf said. "He was quite the lady's man."
Police are having a difficult time determining where Raimer was before he died, said Sgt. Terrell Marshall, a Sacramento Police Department spokesman. Marshall said police "believe he died a day or two" before he was found. Wolf said police told the family Raimer probably died Friday night or Saturday morning.
Wolf said he doesn't believe Raimer was into illicit behavior in Sacramento.
"He was just a single guy," he said. "He'd never tell us where he was going or where he'd be."
Most of the time his trips took him to Sacramento, but often Raimer would visit friends in Redding or Oroville, Wolf said. Once in a while he'd bring a friend home, but "didn't have anybody special," Wolf said.
Investigators would not say whether they believe Raimer died where he was found -- near a bike path that runs parallel to Del Paso Boulevard and beneath Highway 160 -- or if he died somewhere else and was dumped there. His apparel -- cowboy boots and pants -- leads park rangers to believe he wasn't exercising.
"We don't want recreationists thinking they don't want to go there," said Dave Lydick, chief ranger for Sacramento County. "We're fairly certain this wasn't a person who was recreating there."
Lydick said Raimer was not one of the 30 or so homeless campers who spend time in the Parkway.