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Homeless man found dead in friend’s backyard, Las Vegas police say

Updated January 27, 2019 - 9:43 pm

A woman stepped outside Sunday afternoon in her east valley backyard for a cigarette and to let her dogs out. They ran right over to the backyard tent where a friend of hers was living, and she followed to check on him.

He was dead.

Detectives are investigating his death Sunday night as a homicide, as a preliminary look from the Clark County coroner’s office indicated he’d been stabbed multiple times, Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Ray Spencer told media Sunday evening.

The woman, in her late 20s, called police about 4:30 p.m., and they responded to her house on the 4700 block of Montebello Avenue, near North Nellis Boulevard and East Bonanza Road. He died at the scene, but it wasn’t clear how long he had been dead.

“We believe sometime in the last 48 hours is the last time that someone had seen the victim alive,” Spencer said.

The man, homeless and in his late 40s, had been living in the backyard tent for about two months, Spencer said. The woman was gone for the weekend and had just returned home, she told police.

She let the dogs out, and it alarmed her that they ran right over to his tent, Spencer said.

“Obviously, she’s shaken up right now,” Spencer said.

The house was taped off Sunday evening as police gathered around a vehicle parked to the side of the house. A tall, brick wall encompassed the two-story home’s backyard. A couple of officers could be seen standing near the gate to the yard.

A few neighbors peeked or stood outside their homes to catch a glimpse of the police presence in their neighborhood.

The man had several belongings inside of the tent, Spencer said. The investigation remained in its infancy Sunday night, and police hadn’t yet accessed the tent as of 8:30 p.m.

“Were trying to locate any kind of witnesses or any video that would bring us closer to who may have inflicted the injuries,” Spencer said.

Spencer asked anybody with information on the man’s death to call Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.

The coroner’s office will release the identity of the deceased once his family is notified. His death represented the eighth homicide investigated by Metro this year, according to Las Vegas Review-Journal records.

Contact Mike Shoro at mshoro@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter.

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