Truckee man found dead |

Truckee man found dead

David Bunker
Sierra Sun

Jesus Lopez Gayton, a dedicated Truckee family man and talented musician, was found dead in Coldstream Valley Tuesday after being reported missing nearly two weeks ago.

Two men riding all-terrain vehicles in a rugged area of the valley spotted Gayton’s body and called 9-1-1.

The death is under investigation by the Placer County Sheriff’s Department, said Sheriff’s Detective Corie Quillinan. An autopsy Wednesday did not reveal the cause of death.

Gayton was a custodian with the Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District for four years.

“He was a wonderful husband, father and co-worker,” said Sue Salas, who works in the special education department at Truckee Elementary and also is a translator. “He was a very hard-working man, always trying to provide for his family.”

Gayton was also a member of the Assumption Catholic Church, where Father Stanley Poltorak remembers his unique talent with music.

“His music was a natural gift,” said Poltorak.

Poltorak said Gayton played guitar, sang in the choir and even composed his own music.

He was married with a son and a daughter, Poltorak said.

Gayton was known to have high blood pressure and often walked off into the woods on his own when he was depressed, said Nevada County Sheriff’s Deputy Ron Smith during the first week of the search.

Tests conducted during the autopsy, which should be available in several weeks, should reveal the cause of Gayton’s death, said Quillinan.

A fundraiser for Gayton’s family and a special mass has been scheduled for Sunday, July 20 at the Truckee Elementary School parking lot from 4 to 9 p.m. The special mass is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the school.