A suspect has been charged in the death of a Bay Area butcher who was discovered in Central Park last week, Santa Clara police announced Wednesday.
In a press release, authorities said an autopsy revealed the death of 54-year-old Raynard Hyde was a homicide. Hyde, a church singer and married father of three, was a popular butcher at the Safeway supermarket one block from the park where was found, according to The Mercury News.
Co-worker Gage Taren McCartney, 25, was arrested in connection to the killing.
“The size of [Raynard’s] voice matched the size of his heart,” Kurt Foreman, a long-time friend of Hyde’s, told the newspaper. “He loved his family. He loved serving at the church. He is going to be deeply missed.”
According to police, Hyde was “in the company” of McCartney before he was discovered dead. The victim was found lying near a duck pond at the park with a bloody nose. Police tried reviving him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
“There was no obvious sign of trauma in the way of gunshot wounds or a knife sticking out of him, anything like that,” said Santa Clara Police Capt. Wahid Kazem. ” … But there were things at the scene that our investigators were concerned about.”
An autopsy by the coroner’s office confirmed suspicions of foul play, ruling Hyde’s death a homicide. Police arrested McCartney on Wednesday and jailed him on suspicion of murder, local station ABC 7 reported.
“Who would want to hurt him?,” said Nina Ramirez, a member of Cathedral of Faith in San Jose where Hyde sang. “He’s very good man to everybody. He was nice and sweet and very humble.”
Though McCartney is in custody, police are still asking for the public’s help.
“There’s a time gap that we’re trying to fill so we’re asking anybody in the public, if they’ve seen anything, if they’ve seen these two individuals, especially in the area of Central Park to please reach out to the Santa Clara Police Department,” Capt. Kazem said.