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String of bodies found in Petaluma not related, officials say

The deaths of seven people in the past six months in the Petaluma River and along the city's byways are disturbing but not a sign of increasing violence or criminal activity, police and homeless advocates say.

All the bodies have been found outdoors. One was the skeletal remains of a woman on the McNear Peninsula. Two others were suicides. Four had been homeless or were homeless at the time of their deaths.

Foul play isn't suspected in any of the cases, police said.

If anything, a theme may be hopelessness, said Mike Johnson, the head of Petaluma's Committee on the Shelterless.

"It continues to raise a flag," he said. "They were all extremely vulnerable individuals."

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