Crime scene in Ocean Beach
The crime scene on Wednesday morning in Ocean Beach. Courtesy San Diego Police

The body of an apparent homicide victim was found in the garage of an Ocean Beach home Wednesday, prompting SWAT officers to surround the residence and another one less than a half-mile away as police searched in vain for a man seen running away from the death scene.

The events that led to the discovery of the woman’s body began shortly before 1 a.m., when a man called the San Diego Police Department to ask for a welfare check at a home in the 5000 block of Niagara Avenue.

“The caller said a family member had received a message from his mother, which caused them to be concerned,” SDPD Lt. Matt Dobbs said. “They attempted to call her back but could not reach her. The family believed she (had been) checking on a property in the … neighborhood.”

Unable to get into the residence, patrol personnel began checking the surrounding area to see if they could find the woman. As the officers searched, the son returned to the home. Seeing his brother, 36-year-old Daniel Chase McKibben, running away from the residence, the man forced entry into the garage and discovered the apparent homicide victim.

Police could not immediately confirm the dead person’s identity, according to Dobbs.

About 5 a.m., a special weapons and tactics team was sent to the home where the body was found as officers sought to determine if McKibben had returned and was inside. Officers evacuated several nearby apartments and shut down the intersection of Bacon Street and Niagara Avenue during the effort.

After police concluded that the possible suspect was not in the residence, officers, including the SWAT personnel, went to another home at Cable Street and Del Mar Avenue. After several hours of trying to contact McKibben with bullhorns there, officers entered and found that he was not in that dwelling.

Officials did not immediately disclose how the two residences may have been associated with McKibben.

“The identity of the deceased person and the circumstances surrounding (the) death have not been determined at this time,” Dobbs said in the late morning. “(McKibben) is considered a person of interest in the investigation.”

Anyone with information regarding the killing or the location of the suspect was asked to call SDPD’s homicide unit at 619-531-2293, or the San Diego County Crime Stoppers‘ anonymous tip line at 888-580-8477.

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.