Desert Center suspicious death investigation continuing – Victim ID’d

UPDATED: Tuesday, Oct. 27, 1:15 p.m., With coroner’s release of information.

DESERT CENTER, Calif. — Although few details have been released, officials have confirmed the discovery of a deceased man in an unincorporated area of Riverside County known as Desert Center, Sunday afternoon, Oct. 18.

The victim’s lifeless body was found in an agricultural area near Kaiser and Oasis roads, according to sheriff’s officials who are now investigating the man’s death.


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Deputies from the Colorado River Sheriff’s Station responded to the scene at 4:07 p.m., after receiving a 911 call reporting the discovery of a deceased man, Riverside County Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit Sergeant Rick Espinoza 

Upon arrival the deputies located the victim inside an unspecified structure at the location, according to Espinoza.

Members of the Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit responded and assumed the investigation. 

“The decedent has been positively identified as Thanh Phuoc Tran, 46 years old out of Hollywood, CA,” Espinoza said in a recent update; adding, “This is an active investigation and no additional details are currently available.

Anyone with information regarding the incident to contact Central Homicide Investigator Sandoval at (951) 235-2262 or (760) 770-2236. Callers can refer to incident file number A202920008 and can remain anonymous.

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Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.