Man facing child solicitation trial found dead

Man facing child solicitation trial found dead

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Richard Gamez

Richard Gamez

Richard Gamez, courtesy of CCSO

Richard Gamez, courtesy of CCSO

A Naples Park man reported missing before his trial for online solicitation charges was found dead Tuesday afternoon in rural East Naples.

Collier County sheriff’s officials said Richard Gamez, 31, was discovered in his vehicle at about 2:30 p.m., 12 hours after he was last seen by family. He was located near San Marco Road, about two miles west of U.S. 41 East.

“Obviously an autopsy has to be performed, but at this point we believe it’s probably a suicide,” Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Michelle Batten said.

Gamez never showed up for 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. hearings Tuesday to reschedule his trial, leading family to report him missing. His trial could have started Tuesday if another case in front of his on the docket was delayed or resolved.

Gamez was out on $20,000 bail as he faced charges from June 2011, when investigators said he solicited an undercover deputy posing as a 14-year-old girl for sex.

Lee Hollander, Gamez’s lawyer, declined to discuss any defenses his client planned to raise at trial.

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