Clovis News

Body found with girl, 2, in Clovis home

A crying toddler girl was found Monday morning in a Clovis duplex bedroom that also held the body of her dead father.

Police said the father, Jeremy Uhrig, 29, did not appear to have been shot or stabbed, and he bore no evidence of violent trauma.

The Fresno County Coroner's Office will determine the cause of death, try to pinpoint a time of death and administer toxicological tests. The test results could take a couple of weeks, police said.

Uhrig's daughter, Evalene, almost 2, was hungry but otherwise uninjured, police said. Paramedics gave her food and juice before releasing her to relatives.

Uhrig was moving out of his apartment, breaking up with his girlfriend and getting ready to enter drug rehabilitation Monday, said his father, Gerald Uhrig.

"We don't know if it was drug-related or withdrawals," Gerald Uhrig said of his son's death. "He was doing real good, so it was kind of a shock."

His ex-fiancée said she last spoke with him Saturday evening, police said.

Uhrig, a union electrician, previously worked at Harris Ranch and had attended College of the Sequoias. He was a 1999 graduate of Clovis High School.

Barry Burghardt, who lives in a neighboring apartment complex, said he saw Uhrig about 1 p.m. Saturday with Evalene at the pool in the Chateau Sunnyside apartments where Burghardt lives and next door to Uhrig's home.

He said he thought Uhrig needed some food, so he loaned him $20.

"That was the last time I saw him," Burghardt said.

Uhrig's body was discovered about 10:45 a.m. Monday when a maintenance man and the complex's owner went inside the home to look for him.

Evalene opened the bedroom door after they heard her crying, said Vince Poor, an onsite maintenance man who found Uhrig. "The master bedroom was locked, and we heard the baby cry," Poor said.

He said the toddler told them that "daddy had an ow-ee."

Uhrig appeared to have been dead for some time, Poor said.

Gerald Uhrig said his son acted as a father for his ex-fiancée's other three children, who range in age from 9 to 13.

"He really was a great kid," Gerald Uhrig said. "He had the whole world in front of him."There were no signs of a break-in and police do not know the cause of death. Witnesses told police the man had not been seen for three days.

People who knew the man said he was 29 years old.

The body was found by the complex manager and an onsite maintenance worker. They went to check on the home because the man had planned to move out Sunday.

When they knocked on the locked door, they heard the toddler crying, said the maintenance worker, Vince Poor. He and the manager entered the home through the garage and found the girl and the body.

A friend of the dead man said he last him about 1 p.m. Saturday. The man was taking the girl to a pool at a nearby apartment complex. The friend, who was not identified, said the man had broken up recently with a girlfriend who was the 2-year-old's mother.

Poor, the maintenance worker, said police had visited the home several times recently.