Police identify dead Truckee man | SierraSun.com

Police identify dead Truckee man

A man found dead Tuesday inside his SUV north of Truckee was identified by police Thursday as Stanley Everett Merchant, 48, of Truckee.

Merchant was a known transient in the Truckee area who had some contact with law enforcement, Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal said.

Thursday morning investigators notified Merchant’s brother in Anchorage, Alaska, of Merchant’s death.

The dead woman lying next to Merchant has not yet been positively identified, Royal said Thursday night.

A hiker called the sheriff’s office Tuesday evening to report finding the bodies inside Merchant’s Toyota 4-Runner, parked off of Old Highway 89.

Investigators ruled the killings as murder-suicide.

Royal said physical evidence suggested Merchant shot the woman and loaded her into the back of his vehicle. He drove a short distance, then laid down next to her and shot himself in the head using two shotguns simultaneously.

A Placer County pathologist completed the woman’s autopsy Thursday and determined the cause of death as a gunshot wound to the head, Nevada County sheriff’s Lt. Ron Smith said.

He said investigators found bruising on her arm and her wristwatch was broken, which could be indicative of a struggle before she was shot.

A small amount of marijuana residue was found in a tin breath mint container in the 4-Runner, while there was no other indication of drug or alcohol use, Smith said.

A toxicology report which would reveal any drug or alcohol use will be available in about a month, Smith said.

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