Dense fog

Sheriff: Dead Laytonville pair found in pot greenhouse

Two badly decomposed bodies found Monday in rural Laytonville were discovered in a greenhouse with almost 200 small marijuana plants, Mendocino County Sheriff's officials reported Tuesday.

The conditions of the bodies have made it difficult to determine how they died, but sheriff's officials said they suspect homicide. A forensic autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, said Sheriff's Capt. Greg Van Patten. He said it would take six to eight weeks for toxicology results to be released.

The identities of the deceased have not been determined, he said.

Van Patten estimated the victims had been dead for no more than a week, in part based on the condition of the 180 pot plants, which were between 6 and 12 inches tall.

Warm, moist greenhouse conditions likely accelerated the bodies' decomposition, Van Patten said.

He said he can't speculate about what led to the deaths.

"Once we have a cause of death, we can start looking at scenarios," Van Patten said.

The greenhouse, along with two travel trailers, is located on Woodman Creek Road, 7 to 8 miles east of Laytonville, he said.

The area is saturated with marijuana cultivation, said Kent Westwood, a Laytonville real estate agent and the president of the Woodman Creek Road Association.

Westwood said law enforcement officers have divulged no information about the suspected double homicide to local residents and no one in town seems to know who the victims might be.

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