Sacramento man identified as victim in Santa Cruz cold case 41 years after his death

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A man found dead on an embankment in a Santa Cruz County state park more than 40 years ago has been identified by coroner officials as a Sacramento resident.

A hiker found the Sacramento man at Natural Bridges State Beach above the Moore Creek outlet around 4:30 p.m. Oct. 6, 1982, according to the Santa Cruz Police Department.

He has been identified more than four decades later as Rodney Alan Rumsey, said Ashley Keehn, spokeswoman for the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, in an email. She didn’t release his age or cause of death.

The circumstances surrounding Rumsey’s death are unclear. Investigators said Rumsey, who was believed to be between 25 and 35 years old when he disappeared, had “evidence” on his body which showed his death was a “probable homicide,” police said in a news release.



The Santa Cruz Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It’s also unclear whether the agency has made any arrests in Rumsey’s death.

Rumsey’s left forearm had a red rose with three leaves on it and a tattoo of a skull on his left forearm. The skull had black braids, three red-tipped feathers jutting out from the head and red around the eye sockets.

Anyone with information about this case may call the Santa Cruz Police Department’s investigations unit at 831-420-5820 or the department’s tip line at 831-420-5995.

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