The death of a Santa Fe man whose body was found downtown early Sunday morning is now being investigated as a homicide, police announced Monday in a news release.
Around 12:20 a.m. Sunday, Santa Fe officers responded to a call from an Uber driver who had found the body of 33-year-old Matthew Corral lying face down in the intersection of West De Vargas Street and Don Gaspar Avenue, shortly after picking up passengers from the nearby Del Charro bar and restaurant on West Alameda Street.
The Uber passengers quickly exited the vehicle to try initiating CPR, but Corral remained unresponsive, police said.
Corral had signs of blunt trauma to the chest, Lt. Matthew Champlin told The New Mexican on Sunday, which could have been a “possible gunshot wound.”
Deputy Chief Ben Valdez said Monday the department was not yet certain whether Corral's injury was related to a gunshot or “some other cutting material.” Detectives were awaiting results of a forensic autopsy to determine the cause of the man's death, he said, which could be released as early as Monday afternoon.
According to the news release, Corral was in the downtown area before his body was found lying in the street.
However, Valdez said, it’s uncertain whether his injury occurred in the area he was found or if he was harmed elsewhere.
The area where Corral was found was just around the corner from where Ernestine Saucedo, 32, was fatally shot by her husband, 34-year-old Jessie Saucedo, who then took his own life July 11.
“At this point, it appears to be a coincidence” that three people died within a quarter-mile of each another in just a 10-day period, Valdez said.
As of Monday afternoon, Valdez said, there were still no suspects in Corral’s death.
“We are looking to develop suspects. … We are unsure if it was one person or more than one,” he said.
Detectives have collected surveillance video from nearby businesses — Valdez said he could not reveal which ones, as the investigation remains active — to identify any suspects who might be responsible for Corral’s death.
Police have asked the public to contact Detective Jacob Parrish at 505-955-5203 with any information that might assist with the investigation.
“Whoever is responsible for this … that is a public safety concern,” Valdez said. “We will push that information out as soon as we’re able to.”