H-NIPOMO

Sep 19, 2013 7:52 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News

Treasure Hunters called in to help with investigation

Investigators searched for evidence Wednesday after a man's body was found Tuesday in Nipomo. The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office says the death is suspicious.

The supervisor of an agricultural operation spotted the body and called police. The Sheriff's Office has not yet identified the victim. Investigators say they are looking into everything they can to determine a cause of death.

In order to get those answers they've also called in a group of community members who specialize in finding anything, anywhere.

Wayne Mills isn't your normal investigator.

"When I hunt I like to do it in a systematic matter, it's like painting the ground," said Mills waving his metal detector around the scene where the body was found.

Mills is part of an organization called Central Coast Treasure Hunters. He took up treasure hunting as a hobby after retiring from Caltrans four years ago.

"It's become more of an obsession than a hobby I guess," said Mills.

On Wednesday, the Sheriff's Office called upon that obsession. His job is to find physical evidence that might help detectives piece together this latest investigation.

"Maybe luck does play into it but I read a quote that said, the harder that you work, the more lucky you are," said Mills making his way throughout the scene.

That's exactly what investigators hope will happen. Mills and two others scour the area, pass after pass, and the work can seem endless.

However, bullet casings and other scraps of debris could point them in the right direction.

"It's a beep, or its no beep, sometimes the tone is mushy, which means it's probably not as good a target as what I want," said Mills.

Everything that is found is dug up and examined and whether Mills helps break the case, his satisfaction lies in the hunt itself.

"You're there to help and so you just do your best," said Mills. "It's always interesting with metal detection, you never know what you're going to find, and you can find anything anywhere."

Central Coast Treasure Hunters has helped with a few investigations, even helping to solve one.

The Sheriff's Gang Task Force was also on scene Wednesday looking for possible connections.

In February of 2010, 32-year-old Pedro Gonzalez's body was discovered in the same area. The Sheriff's Office says Gonzalez was shot and killed in Guadalupe. The crime was determined to be gang-related.

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