Body discovered in a Fresno County orchard

FRESNO, Calif.

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Fresno Police discovered the charred SUV around 4 P.M. Wednesday afternoon in an orchard near Sanger, in the area of Central and Del Rey.

Police say the vehicle matches the one driven by an assault victim, 38-year-old Christopher Zuniga. Police had been looking for him since Tuesday.

Investigators are expecting dental records to prove whether Christopher Zuniga is the same person they found in an orchard.

Police up to this point have been tight lipped about connecting him to a violent assault that took place last Friday.

A tow truck carrying the scorched SUV drove away from an orchard which became a crime scene Wednesday night.

Fresno Police confirmed it's the same 2001 silver GMC Yukon belonging to 38-year-old Christopher Zuniga.

Homicide investigators, however, aren't saying whether it's Zuniga's body they found inside.

This discovery near Sanger happened a few miles away from a Sunnyside home where police had spent two days piecing together another crime. An assault that took place there on Friday.

After questioning witnesses and residents for hours, evidence showed Zuniga had become a victim of an assault. Only problem was no one could find him.

"We did recover physical evidence inside the house. We do believe an attack took place and we do believe foul play was involved." said Lt. Mark Salazar.

By nightfall crime tape continued to block off the home and officers parked their cars in the driveway.

Bobby Jones lives nearby and runs the neighborhood watch program. He noticed a lot of police cars around the area Tuesday.

"There were two in the field. There were four on the property and there were three out on the street and then there were two or three that were always hovering around." said Jones.

Jones has lived in this quiet Sunnyside neighborhood for seven years and has never seen anything like this.

"We hardly ever have any police activity of any kind of crime out here. And so it's shocking that we get this kind of attention." added Jones.

Zuniga is believed to have been a guest staying at the house. Investigators say he's a career criminal with several convictions including assault with a deadly weapon and auto theft. So far police have not yet made an arrest in either case.

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