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Donald Homer Shinkle's son was concerned. The son had not been able to contact to 80-year-old father in a few days. And Shinkle's neighbors in Garden Grove had called the son to say the old man's roommate had been seen driving the elderly man's pickup truck.
Shinkle was very protective of his ride and would never let the 50-year-old roommate, James Leon Howieson, drive the 2000 Ford Pickup.
The son called the Garden Grove Police Department and asked if Shinkle could be checked on. Officers arrived to meet the family outside Shinkle's apartment in the 13200 block of Magnolia Avenue shortly before 11 a.m. on Monday. They went inside and made a grisly discovery in a bedroom closet.
Shinkle's body was found stuffed inside the closet, and he was the apparent victim of a homicide.
The cause of death has not been determined, pending an autopsy planned for
The preliminary investigation pointed to Howieson at the prime suspect in Shinkle's death, according to Capt. Mike Handfield of Garden Grove PD.
But Howieson apparently took any confession to his grave, having committed suicide just before noon Sunday in the 6900 block of Garden Grove Boulevard in Westminster. He shot himself in the head with a shotgun, police say.
Howieson was in
possession of Shinkle's truck.
The murder suspect just turned 50 on Friday.