Police investigating incident at Palo Alto mobile home park, where man was found mortally injured

Man was discovered with stab wounds, says longtime neighbor

A Palo Alto police officer monitors a crime scene where a man was found injured in his unit at Buena Vista Mobile Home Park and later died on June 24. Photo by Veronica Weber.

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 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 or

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.


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40 people like this
Posted by Sad Day
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 26, 2019 at 7:57 pm

People complained about the old owners being slumlords. It seems things have become worse as a government run program. What’s the plans for this place? At least the old owners tried to legally close the place down for a new development. Are we the neighbors stuck with this place for ever?

10 people like this
Posted by C. Walters
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 27, 2019 at 6:41 am

[Post removed.]

14 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jun 27, 2019 at 8:10 am

To the posters above ...
Assaults and murders unfortunately happen in our city.
Did you propose shutting down the Southgate neighborhood when a resident there murdered his wife??
Or the neighborhood (downtown south I think ) where the man murdered his girl friend then set fire to the cottage she lived into cover it up?

5 people like this
Posted by BV Problems
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 27, 2019 at 8:12 am

The BV trailer park needs improved security and surveillance monitoring.

Local government should provide for private security (armed if necessary).

Barron Park residents should address the PACC on this serious matter.

7 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2019 at 8:22 am

In the Bay Area news in the past week we have had a police officer killed on a domestic dispute, murder suicide in one home involving 4 family members and another with a husband and wife, and a shooting in a car dealership workplace where a fired employee shoots supervisors before killing himself. In all these situations we see that the common trend is that neighbors or family members did not expect this to happen. None of them took place in a mobile home park.

Crime happens everywhere and anywhere.

I think we should wait until we find out more about this stabbing before we start blaming it on the trailer park.

15 people like this
Posted by winter dellenbach
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 27, 2019 at 9:03 am

I trust that the best values of Palo Alto – deeply caring for all – will be felt and expressed for Buena Vista’s residents and Barron Park neighbors at their time of shocking sadness and loss. Surely we won’t engage in “victim blaming” or stigmatize where people live.

Just as our City and citizenry supported the saving of Buena Vista and its residents from displacement, we now must offer our sympathy and support as we have when other tragic losses have occurred in other Palo Alto neighborhoods over the years.

Buena Vista is very well managed, has onsite security, and alert close-knit residents who know BV to be a safe community like the rest of Palo Alto. But that doesn’t mean such things still can’t happen through no fault of anyone but the person who caused it.

Last night, Kara was at BV providing grief counseling. As residents poured out their feelings and concerns, I could only think, how awful this was to befall these good people, this fine small community within my neighborhood.

12 people like this
Posted by Karen Holman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 27, 2019 at 10:05 am

As a council member and mayor when the residents of Buena Vista were for several years threatened with the loss of their homes for redevelopment, I was constantly impressed if not awed by what I witnessed: a dignified, respectful community of people that came together to support each other and make their case to the powers that held their fate in their hands. There was no hint of the rude or angry behavior that I have seen from others faced with far less impactful issues. The residents of BV presented a model for the rest of us to follow. I am proud to know the people who live there.

As humans we are both flawed and at times frail. The potential to do harm to others does not know economic, race or religious boundaries. My hope is that the Palo Alto community will come together using the respect the Buena Vista community modeled and support their residents in this time of sadness.

8 people like this
Posted by Ed
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 27, 2019 at 2:22 pm

[Post removed.]

5 people like this
Posted by C. Walters
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 27, 2019 at 2:27 pm

To the poster “Anon”
Nice try misrepresenting my post. I clearly said
“ It’s time for the City Council to put some money into the park to improve conditions for the residents AND the neighbors.”
[Portion removed.]

6 people like this
Posted by Palo 94306
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 27, 2019 at 4:52 pm

Web Link

they arrested someone, and he's also a resident of the home park

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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