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VENTURA : Man, 37, Found Dead After Prison Release

Hours after he was released from state prison, a 37-year-old Ventura man was found beaten to death behind a vacant apartment in Bakersfield.

Christopher Rangel’s body was discovered in east Bakersfield by a passerby at 2:20 p.m. Saturday. According to parole agent Joseph Martinez, Rangel had been released from Wasco State Prison north of Bakersfield earlier that day.

He had been scheduled to meet with Martinez on Monday in Oxnard.

Police in Bakersfield said they have no motive, no suspects and few leads in the case.

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“We have no independent witnesses to the incident or the fight, or how the body got there,” Sgt. Sid Unruh said.

“The detective couldn’t tell if he was beaten with an item or with fists,” Unruh added.

Rangel apparently rode a bus from the state prison to Bakersfield on Saturday morning. He was last seen leaving a Greyhound station, Unruh said.

Martinez said Rangel was planning to return to Ventura, where his family lives.

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Rangel was sentenced to four years in prison in 1990 for forgery. He was released in January, 1993, but was sent back to prison in October after he tested positive for heroin and violated other conditions of his parole.

Rangel also had been sentenced to the California Youth Authority in 1976 for attempted murder, discharging a firearm and resisting arrest, Martinez said.


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