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Hector Velez-Gonzalez identified as man found dead off Warren Street Bypass in Reading

Published On: Aug 23 2013 03:21:29 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 23 2013 04:57:29 PM CDT

Police have identified the man found dead on the side of a busy highway in Reading earlier this week.

READING, Pa. -

Reading police released Friday the name of the man found dead on the side of the Warren Street Bypass, hoping someone knows who killed him.

Hector Velez-Gonzalez was found early Wednesday morning shot to death and dumped on the ramp from the westbound lanes of the Warren Street Bypass to River Road in the city's Riverdale section.

Velez-Gonzalez just moved to Reading from Puerto Rico three months ago, and he was last seen alive late Tuesday night, said police.            

Investigators executed a search warrant on his third floor apartment in the 100 block of Spring Street late Thursday, hoping to find clues to help solve the mysterious homicide case.

Velez-Gonzalez, 43, lived with a roommate and worked for a local sanitation company.

"Nothing really happens over here, but from time to time you know stuff always happens in the city," said Cosme Dorvio, who lives in the same neighborhood.

Residents up and down Spring Street were stunned to learn Velez-Gonzalez was from their neighborhood.

Jeffrey Lebrun said he heard a rapid round of gunshots Sunday night, but said normally the block is quiet.

"It started off one shot, then it was like bang, bang, bang. Then, you hear some lady screaming, 'They're shooting. They're shooting," said Lebrun.

An autopsy conducted Thursday revealed Velez-Gonzalez died of gunshot wounds to the head and neck.

According to court documents, the man did not have a long rap sheet. In fact, a recent run-in with police was a traffic stop.

The big question police are still trying to answer is where was he killed before he ended up near the highway.

"I think Reading has changed. It's sad to see something like that happen," said Bruno Lebrun, who lives on Spring Street.

Police would not comment if anything was found inside the victim's apartment after the warrant was served.

Investigators did question Velez-Gonzalez's roommate, who last saw him alive, but police would not say if he is considered a suspect.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Crime Alert Berks County at 877-373-9913. A cash reward of up to $10,000 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.