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Crime Notes: Found body, shooting and attempted robbery

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Body Found in Pond

The Stillwater Police Department is investigating an unidentified body found in a pond on March 18.

Just before 4 p.m., officers responded to a report of the body of an adult male floating face down in a retention pond at Elm Street and Jardot Road. The body had been in the pond for a while, according to the press release, and police saw no obvious signs of trauma.

Police sent the body to the State Medical Examiner’s office, where the ME will try to establish a cause of death and a positive identification.

In the meantime, SPD is working on a preliminary investigation. It has compared descriptions of local missing persons reports to the description of the body found, but none of them match, according to the press release. Police are also investigating an ID found on the body.

Capt. Kyle Gibbs said an ID is not good enough for an identification in these circumstances.

“You can’t rely on just an ID in the pocket to make a positive identification, because we do encounter people who have fake IDs or someone else’s ID,” Gibbs said.

The ME will look at things such as dental records to determine a positive ID, Gibbs said.

Although police have no reason to suspect foul play at this point, they are not ruling out any possibilities, Gibbs said.

“We don’t know if it’s accidentally, or what the case might be at this point,” Gibbs said. “But the ME can tell us more. They examine the body, they can tell us more about that, if they see evidence of trauma or anything like that.”

It is impossible to predict how long until the police get results from the ME’s office, Gibbs said.

“It just kind of depends on their workload, so we’re waiting just like everyone else,” Gibbs said.

In the meantime, the police request that anyone with information about the incident call the Criminal Investigations Unit at (405) 372-4171 or the Tips Line and (405) 742-8327.

Shooting

A man is in custody after a March 20 shooting that left one woman in the hospital.

Joseph Gerardo Vazquez, 34, shot a Stillwater woman in the legs late March 20, police allege. The shooting came after some kind of dispute about money, Capt. Kyle Gibbs said.

“The victim knew the suspect and other people on scene knew him as well, so he was identified pretty quickly and issued a warrant the following morning for assault with a deadly weapon,” Gibbs said.

Vazquez was arrested March 21 in Perry and has been charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. He is currently held in Payne County Jail.

As of 3 a.m. March 21, the victim was in stable condition at an Oklahoma City Hospital.

SPD is continuing to gather evidence for the prosecution phase.

Vazquez’s next court date is April 2.

Attempted Drug Store Robbery

Stillwater police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man suspected of attempting to rob a drug store on South Walnut Street on March 22.

Police responded to a report of an armed robbery in progress at Tiger Drug Store at 825 S. Walnut St. Video surveillance the police released shows a white male with his face covered, wearing black gloves and a black baseball cap, enter through the front door of the drug store. Less than a minute later, he runs out again. There is no weapon visible in the video, but he is carrying a black bag across his back.

Police say the suspect is a 5’ 11’’ white male with blue eyes, and encourage anyone with information to contact Detective Johnson at (405) 372-4171.

news.ed@ocolly.com