Slain butcher’s co-worker charged with murder

A butcher at a supermarket in California was found dead last week and one of his co-workers has been charged in his murder, authorities said.

Police in Santa Clara responded to a report of a man with a bloody nose in Central Park on Friday. The man, who was later identified as Raynard Hyde, 54, of Campbell, was pronounced dead at the scene after unsuccessful attempts to revive him, the department said in a news release issued Wednesday.

Hyde’s body did not have any obvious signs of trauma, but detectives became suspicious of the cause and manner of his death as the investigation continued.

“Investigators worked late into the night and through the weekend collecting evidence and interviewing friends and associates of the deceased,” the news release continued.

Detectives later learned that Hyde had been “in the company” of a co-worker, Gage Taren McCartney, before he was found dead. An autopsy later conducted by the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office found that Hyde’s cause of death was homicide.

McCartney, 25, was arrested Tuesday at his home in Sunnyvale and was later booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on a murder charge, police said.

Police referred additional inquiries to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. Attempts to reach spokesman Sean Webby on Thursday were unsuccessful.

McCartney’s arraignment is tentatively scheduled for Friday, the Mercury News reports.

Hyde’s death rocked some Santa Clara residents who knew him from his time working as a butcher at a Safeway supermarket on Homestead Road, just one block from the city’s Central Park. Hyde, a married father of three, was also known as a choir staple at the Cathedral of Faith church in San Jose, which he attended for 30 years, according to the newspaper.

“The size of his voice matched the size of his heart,” the church’s director of operations, Kurt Foreman, told the Mercury News. “He loved his family. He loved serving at the church. He’s going to be deeply missed.”

Foreman said Hyde will be remembered for his big smile and booming voice.

“Ray was so beloved by so many people,” Foreman said. “It’s just tragic. This is just awful.”

Police did not indicate what position McCartney had at the supermarket. An employee at the store declined comment when reached by The Post, referring questions to spokeswoman Wendy Gutshall, who did not immediately return a request for comment.

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