Body found on highway in Umatilla

Body found on highway in Umatilla
UMATILLA, Oregon. - Police tape is all that's left after a man's body was found on the side of the road. The otherwise quiet community of Umatilla has been left wondering what lead to this bizarre death, now classified as a murder.

Dave Smith lives in town. He said, "This area is fairly nice. There's older people, you know, more laid back."

Investigators identified the victim as Luis Jaime Diaz. The 32-year-old lived in Umatilla. Drivers spotted his body on highway 730 near Wildwood Lane between an apartment complex and trailer park.


Dave continues, "What I heard through the grapevine is that it was either drugs or gang related."

Dave wasn't surprised to hear what happened. He says there's a lot of drug and criminal activity for a small town. Dave says the victim was a friend of a friend who had a criminal record.

Authorities were able to confirm a lot of what Dave Smith told KEPR about Diaz. They've done a lot of interviews and are now trying to determine whether or not Diaz's body was dumped on the side of the road or if he was actually killed here.

The Umatilla-Morrow Major Crimes Team combed the area looking for any hint of what happened here. Investigators say it looks like an isolated killing.

"Every now and again something crazy happens, you know," Dave said.

At the moment, detectives say they have no strong leads in the case.

No official cause of death will be released until the autopsy is completed sometime today.