Update: Police have arrested a man in connection with the fatal stabbing. Read the story here.
A resident of Buena Vista Mobile Home Park in Palo Alto was found mortally wounded on Monday evening, prompting police to investigate his death, police said Tuesday. A neighbor said the man's roommate discovered him with stab wounds.
The man's roommate called police dispatch shortly before 7 p.m. Monday to report a suspicious circumstance at the mobile home park at 3980 El Camino Real in the city's Barron Park neighborhood, according to a press release issued Tuesday afternoon. The man, who was in his 60s, was transported by Palo Alto fire paramedics to a hospital, where he died.
The man has been identified as 63-year-old Timothy Wood, according to the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office.
Officers, including detectives and crime-scene investigators, were collecting evidence at the mobile home park and working alongside the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office, police said Tuesday.
A forensics van arrived on the scene as of about 11 p.m. on Monday night and was still there late in the day on Tuesday when an officer continued to guard the mobile home during the evening hours.
Buena Vista residents reacted with shock at the news. People living nearest to Wood's trailer said they hadn't heard any noise or altercations before his body was found.
Buena Vista resident Jennifer Havens, who lives with her son, said the man was found stabbed. She was home at the time of the incident but didn't hear anything.
Havens knew Wood for over 10 years and called him a friend. He was "really ornery when I first met him, but he has a good heart. We had kind of a love-hate relationship," Havens said. She gifted him with a stray cat named Ebony, with whom he developed a close relationship. However, he had to put down the cat on Sunday because the animal had cancer.
Multiple residents said the man was a good person who was distraught over losing his cat. One neighbor who lives a few spaces away had given a photograph of the cat to the man on Sunday.
The neighbor and his father returned to the mobile home park after shopping to find police tape across the park entrance. They had to be escorted by the police onto the property. The police "were adamant about people not crossing the line. People had to go all the way around the property to get to their homes," the neighbor noted.
Two men in their 20s who also live down the lane said they were saddened by Wood's death. The mobile home park is a place where people help each other and accept each other's quirks and differences, they said, adding they've never felt unsafe in the community.
"He was a good person. He never disrespected anyone. He never attacked," said one young man, adding that Wood was well-known in the park.
The two were among the neighbors who would visit with Wood in his trailer. He would regale them with stories about his adventures in the 1960s and 1970s.
"He went to Woodstock. I think he had kind of an adventurous life when he was younger. He really liked sports. He had a collection of baseball caps. He used to have barbecues. One thing he liked a lot were Hawaiian shirts. He would wear them every day," one young man said.
He shook his head. "I've known him practically my whole life. Every day I would walk to the store and pass his trailer," he said.
Wood had siblings, but they never saw them visit.
"He was really lonely," the young man said.
The neighbor who gave the photograph said Wood did have friends who frequently came to the home, usually by bicycle from other parts of the Bay Area and Palo Alto.
"He was in contact with his mom, and she provided for him to live on his own," the neighbor said.
The second young man used to bring over auto parts for Wood's Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme.
"He was a good guy. He was relaxed. We would talk sometimes and share a beer," he said. "He never had problems with anybody that I knew of."
Neighbors thought there would likely be some sort of memorial at Buena Vista.
A woman who has lived at the park for 18 years said that, in the wake of the suspicious death, she is watching her three children closely.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to email@example.com or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the police's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.