Investigators, family look for answers in freeway death of Windsor man
Published: Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 8:04 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 8:04 p.m.
A 21-year-old Windsor High graduate found dead in the center lane of Highway 101 had been in a vehicle before he died and hadn’t been walking in the Santa Rosa roadway, according to new details CHP officials released Thursday.
It’s still unknown how Enrique Ramirez Alvarez ended up on the freeway, nor is is known whether he was forced out of a vehicle, got out on his own power or fell out, CHP Officer Jon Sloat said.
His family is waiting to plan a memorial service once the case reaches some resolution.
“I just called CHP, they don’t know anything yet,” said his uncle, Alejandro Alvarez, 36, of Windsor. “They said they’re still investigating.”
Alejandro Alvarez said he couldn’t imagine anyone hurting his nephew.
“He was a sweet guy, funny,” he said. “Anybody can deal with him, he was an easy guy.”
Enrique Alvarez moved to Windsor from Mexico with his family when he was 10 years old and graduated from Windsor High School, his uncle said.
Alvarez was a soccer fanatic and would play pickup games in Windsor and Santa Rosa when he wasn’t helping his mother, Martina Alvarez, 39, care for his siblings. He lived in Windsor with his mother, stepfather and brothers, ages 20, 15 and 4, and a 6-year-old sister, his uncle said.
His father, Enrique Ramirez, died when Alvarez was a toddler, his uncle said. His mother remarried, and his stepfather, Juan Lopez, is a vineyard worker, his uncle said.
A passing motorist spotted Alvarez’s body about 1:40 a.m. on northbound Highway 101 just beyond the Mendocino Avenue offramp.
An autopsy revealed that Ramirez had suffered a neck injury and a compound fracture in a thigh bone, Sloat said.
Detectives continued Thursday to interview witnesses and were hoping to talk with other people who drove through the area between 1:30 and 1:40 a.m. Wednesday, Sloat said.
Anyone with information about the case can call CHP Det. Mike Phennicle at 588-1400.
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