The death of an Escalon man as the result of an early morning altercation behind the Valley Inn on Main Street is being investigated as a homicide and another Escalon man is wanted in connection with the incident.
At presstime on Tuesday, Rocky Overturf, 26, of Escalon was still being sought by police. He is wanted in connection with the Nov. 20 death of Aaron Messick, 36, also of Escalon.
Police Chief Mike Borges said the two men had gotten into an altercation inside the local bar in the 1700 block of Main Street late night Saturday/early Sunday morning and Overturf left the establishment in a dark colored vehicle. When Messick left shortly thereafter, going out the back of the bar, authorities said Overturf had returned and again confronted Messick, punching him and causing him to fall. As he fell, Messick struck his head.
“They were doing CPR on him when we arrived,” Chief Borges said of officers responding to a 9-1-1 call of a subject down in the alley behind the bar, the call coming in at 12:23 a.m. Sunday.
After punching the victim, Overturf fled the scene and his whereabouts at presstime remained unknown.
“We have gotten a lot of tips, have been running down a lot of leads but so far no luck,” Borges said.
A photo released by police shows Overturf with facial hair but Borges said according to witnesses, he is now clean shaven so his appearance would be slightly different.
Messick died of “trauma to the head,” according to the autopsy report, said Borges.
“We were checking various locations last night,” the chief added early Tuesday morning. “If anyone sees him, they are advised to call 9-1-1 or their local law enforcement non-emergency number and provide his whereabouts.”
Investigators were still working to piece together the sequence of events and had not released information as to why the two men had gotten into the initial altercation.
Locally, anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Detective Hardgraves with the Escalon Police Department at 209-838-7093. Hardgraves is the lead investigator with Sgt. Milt Medeiros the supervising officer.