Crime & Safety

Elderly Man Found Dead on Rio Linda Bike Trail

Updated 04/19/2018:

The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office has identified Richard Vaiza as the victim in Sunday afternoon’s fatal attack on a Rio Linda bike trail.

Vaiza, 76, was found dead on the Sacramento Northern Bike Trail about 5 p.m. Sunday. His body had sustained “significant trauma,” Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Shaun Hampton said, and investigators believe he was intentionally attacked by someone who then fled.

“It’s a sad situation. He’s an older guy, and it’s just terrible,” Hampton said.

A 76 year old Hispanic man was found dead on the Sacramento Northern bike trail Sunday evening with trauma to his body resulting from a brutal attack.

Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies and park rangers responded to the 800 block of Elkhorn Boulevard on the Sacramento Northern Bike Trail around 5 p.m. to find the man lying unresponsive, according to a Sheriff’s Department press release.

Sacramento Metro Fire Department personnel pronounced the man dead at the scene.

Authorities have not released the victim’s identity, however it’s been widely reported that the victim was a known homeless person in the area who was known as “Pops”. He spent his time under nearby bridges and in the area known as “Ground Zero”, the Sacramento County property along the south side of Elkhorn Blvd. between 6th street and the bike trail.

Tuesday morning, Law Enforcement officials were seen in the area of ground zero looking for more information.

Sheriff’s officials place the time of the incident between 2pm and 5pm on Sunday the 15th.

The Sheriff’s Department is asking anyone with information about the incident to call (916) 874-5115 or Sacramento Valley Crime Stoppers at (916) 443-HELP. Tip information may also be left anonymously at or by calling (916) 874-TIPS (8477).

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