LOS GATOS (KPIX 5) — Business owners in the heart of downtown Los Gatos were surprised to find an army of police and cadaver dogs inside a store Monday morning. A law enforcement source told KPIX that police were tipped off that a body in a decades old homicide may be buried under a store on North Santa Cruz Avenue.
The tip was credible enough that police began digging under the rear of a store Monday morning, and were sifting through soil outside of the store.
“About fifteen, twenty people back there and just digging up mud and going through all the forensics and dogs, the whole nine yards,” said Pete Jillo, owner of Gardino’s Restorante Italiano.
Jillo’s restaurant is next door to the store where the dig site is located. The store, Site for Sore Eyes, was closed as investigators took over the property. The business has nothing to do with the homicide, a source said, and was opened well after the homicide took place.
Jillo said his restaurant has been open for 27 years. The location of the potential crime scene has taken over part of his parking lot.
“I would never imagine a body next door, that’s crazy,” he said. “I’m shocked by it, to be honest with you, it was tough for business, I couldn’t park, I had to park a few blocks and the restaurant customers couldn’t really park.”
Police are watching the scene overnight until investigators return Tuesday morning to continue digging.
“It’s troubling because you kind of wonder how they picked that spot and why,” said Los Gatos resident Debra Chin. “You have to imagine, did they have connections or was it somehow related to some other construction that was going on?”
Until investigators find a body or evidence of remains, details of the homicide will not be released. But many hope the family of the victim may soon get some answers.
“I think the family deserves some peace and resolution, and if they can find a body and put that to rest then that would give the family a great deal of satisfaction,” Chin said.
“Closure for the family, God willing,” said Jillo.