SAN JOSE -- In an affluent Almaden Valley enclave amid a placid park of trees and hiking trails, police on Wednesday found the city's seventh homicide victim of the year: a young man who had been stabbed to death.
Officers were called to Guadalupe Oak Grove Park shortly before 4 p.m. on reports that a person was on the ground in an area not known for trouble. They found the victim, believed to be in his early 20s, with what appeared to be multiple stab wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
San Jose police spokesman Sgt. Jason Dwyer said they didn't know when the victim was stabbed, but "it looks like it happened today."
"We believe he was in the park with another person earlier, but what happened to lead up to the stabbing is under investigation," he said.
There are no suspects or witnesses at this point, and no weapon has been found, Dwyer said. There are no signs that it was gang-related, although Dwyer said investigators will look into that as well as the possibility that the body was dumped at the park, although "indications are that he was killed there."
The park is in an area of large, single-family homes with professionally manicured front yards. A real estate listing in front of a nearby four-bedroom house had a price tag just shy of $1.6 million.
"I suspect that residents are going to be scratching their heads because something like this does not happen often around here," Dwyer said.
Michael Kirkley and Jessie Jimenez, both seniors at nearby Pioneer High School, agreed.
"It's crazy," said Kirkley, who said they don't know of any gangs at their school or in the neighborhood.
"We're teenagers, we hang out with the kids from around Almaden and everyone's really chill with each other," Jimenez said.
The area where the body was found is adjacent to a park named after Jeffrey Fontana, a San Jose police officer gunned down while on duty on a quiet cul-de-sac less than half a mile away in 2001.
Residents said that was the last time they could recall a homicide in their neighborhood.
"The biggest thing that happened at the park was when someone said they saw a mountain lion," said longtime resident Sundeep Dugar. "That was a big deal."
Dugar said the park, which is open from 8 a.m. to sunset, is popular with residents in the morning, evenings and weekends but it can be fairly empty during the day. But he added that it's not known to attract any sort of criminal activity at any time.
Wednesday evening, residents gathered on sidewalks near the park in small groups, talking about what happened but also asking one another how their kids or parents were doing.
"It's so nice and wonderful here," said Jimenez, 17. "Everybody knows everyone."
Anyone with information about the case can contact homicide detectives at 408-277-5283, or leave an anonymous tip with Silicon Valley Crimestoppers at 408-947-7867 or http://tipsubmit.com.
Contact Eric Kurhi at 408-920-5852. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi.