Body found near Stony Creek in apparent suicide
It is unknown how long Steve Owen Collins' dog sat next to the dead body of his master.
Collins, 55, of Vacaville, was found shot to death on Sunday near Stony Creek in western Glenn County on Sunday.
It appears to law enforcement that the gunshot was self-inflicted, but Glenn County Sheriff Larry Jones said he will wait until the results of an autopsy to make a final determination.
Jones said hunters found Collins just before 2 p.m. in an area known as Rockville, near the Colusa and Glenn counties line, between Stonyford and Elk Creek.
"All relatives and friends interviewed did not know why the decedent would end up at the location he was found," Jones said. "Apparently he never spoke of it."
Jones said Joe Chavarria, 44, of Lake Elsinore, had been hunting with his son and two friends. He had stopped at Rockville to go swimming.
Chavarria found Collins' body near the path in an open graveled area.
His car was found nearby, parked on County Road 306.
Jones said the property owner where Collins had a small travel trailer in Vacaville said he spoke to Collins on Saturday morning and saw him drive away, and that nothing was odd with his behavior.
Jones said investigators handling the case found Collins' sister in the Vacaville area, then notified Collins' wife and daughter in Georgia.
Glenn County Animal Control officer Ben Niblack took control of the dog. It will be taken care of at an animal shelter in Willows until it can be retrieved by Collins' family.