Dead Man in Street Identified

Written by Estero Bay News

August 1, 2020

Morro Bay Police have identified a man found dead in the middle of the street in front of the Harbor Street Firehouse.

To recap, police were called to the intersection of Harbor and Piney Way at 2:53 a.m. Monday, July 13 for a report of a man lying in the street.

According to MBPD Cmdr. Amy Watkins when police and firefighters found the man he was already dead.

Cmdr. Watkins said the man was identified as Matthew Martin Gardiner, 31. Gardiner’s body showed no signs of foul play and an autopsy was performed July 16.

“The deceased displayed underlying health issues,” Cmdr. Watkins said, “complicated by detected substance use.”

Gardiner is the second dead person to be found in Morro Bay in the past year. Back in June 2019, Caltrans workers doing routine maintenance along the Hwy 1/Morro Bay Boulevard exit discovered a human skull. The rest of the person’s remains were found near a homeless encampment.

Coroner’s investigators determined the remains were that of Gregory Paul Schweickert, 70, described as a homeless man whose last known address was in Tucson, Ariz., according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Cipolla said the Coroner’s Office had the remains examined by a forensic anthropologist but the cause of death was undetermined due to the length of time the remains were at the location.

The last known contact with Schweickert, Cipolla said, was in 2016 with the Morro Bay Police Department. So, it’s believed that Schweickert’s body may have been at the location for 3 years. Cipolla said there is no evidence Schweickert was connected with the nearby homeless encampment.

“Based on the investigation,” Cipolla said, “there is no evidence of a traumatic injury nor significant disease.”

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