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Columbia Death Ruled Homicide

Columbia, CA — The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office has concluded that the death of 57-year-old Michael Keith Bates in Columbia was a homicide.

Lt. Ken Diaz says Bates was fatally shot and the motive into the shooting is being investigated. Bates was found dead Tuesday afternoon at a private residence on Upper Quail Mine Rd.

The Sheriff’s Office does have a person of interest in the case and is looking for that individual. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 533-5815.

Written by bjhansen@mlode.com.