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Duke Herrera, 24

Duke Herrera, a 24-year-old Latino, was found dead Saturday, Sept. 19, in the bed of the San Gabriel River just north of Carson Street in Lakewood, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records. 

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies were called to the scene about 10:30 a.m. regarding a man not breathing. When they arrived, they found Herrera lying on the ground at the bottom of the embankment in the San Gabriel Riverbed, according to a department news release.

The Times reported that Herrera had a single gunshot wound to the upper body. He was reported dead at the scene at 10:44 a.m., according to coroner’s records.

Family members told KABC-TV that Herrera had the mental capacity of a 10-year-old but could still ride a bicycle and use public transportation. They had expected him to head home Friday after going to the Lakewood-based Social Vocational Services, a program that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, The Times reported. 

Herrera had disappeared before for more than a week, after leaving his Norwalk home on Hayford Street on May 11, 2014. The Sheriff's Department issued a missing persons bulletin for Herrera eight days later, describing him as a diagnosed schizophrenic who suffered from depression. 

On Saturday, Herrera's  body was found near the Long Beach-Lakewood border, near a popular jogging and biking path that runs alongside the riverbed. The Long Beach Towne Center shopping area is on the other side of Carson Street.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.   

Note, Sept. 24: This story was updated to include information about Herrera's mental capacity. 

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