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Lathrop man found dead during eviction notice service
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Sheriff’s deputies and detectives stand outside a crime scene in Lathrop before they inspected the death of a 48-year-old resident whose body was found by officers serving an order of eviction. - photo by GLENN KAHL
LATHROP — A Lathrop man was found dead in his home at about 8 a.m. Wednesday after deputies went to the front door at 204 Siltstone Avenue to serve an eviction notice.  A neighbor was alerted to the fire and ambulance response when her young son saw the emergency vehicles in front of their home.

Jeff Erlandson, 48, was last seen by neighbors on Sunday when he was loading some of his belongings into a relative’s pickup truck in the subdivision just east of the I-5 Freeway and north of Stonebridge Lane.  

Sheriff’s public information officer Les Garcia said he could not confirm whether the man had been shot, however detectives and members of the Department of Justice were called to the scene investigating the death into the early hours of the evening.  Garcia said his department has so far only ruled that the death is “suspicious” in nature. Erlandson’s body was removed by the coroner shortly after 4 p.m.

Evidence technicians dusted the windows of the home as well as the interior, and scoured the outside of the residence and the back yard near a small bathroom window on the east side of the house that was found open without a screen.  Television sound trucks and the Sheriff’s crime scene command post bus filled the street in front of the house in the fairly new neighborhood.

The street was closed by deputies all day Wednesday with cones and crime scene tape stretched across Siltstone Avenue in front of the victim’s house.

Erlandson and his wife reportedly separated in December after living in the rented home for over two years having worked for a grocery store chain.  One neighbor said the man was very nice and friendly and would socialize with others living on the block when he was out in front or working in his open garage.

A tearful wife drove up to the scene with her teenage daughters mid- day and talked with investigators, appearing grief stricken.   She was quoted as  saying her husband was a good man.  

“He was not going to work anymore and his 4-wheel drive Dodge truck sat in front of his house,” one neighbor noted.  She added that he became very quiet and kept to himself after his marriage broke up and he lost his job.  The truck was believed to have been repossessed in recent weeks as well.

The lawn had not been mowed for several months at the two-story residence.  Neighbors also noted that Erlandson apparently loved to fish and boat on the Delta, adding that he had his boat docked on the channel.