CATHEDRAL CITY – Two adults were found inside a trash enclosure at 67-782 E. Palm Canyon Drive next to Cathedral City Car Wash and identified as a local homeless husband and wife.
On Sunday March 17, a homeless woman searching for her missing friends made a gruesome discovery. The unidentified woman found the body of Diana James inside of a dumpster, and at approximately 11:30 a.m. called 911. When officers from the Cathedral City Police Department arrived, the body of Roger James was also found inside the container. The Riverside County Coroner identified the couple following the notification of kin, but did not list a time or cause of death, other than to state that both deaths were suspicious.
Diana James, 52 and her husband Roger, 53 were originally from Arkansas, but had been transient residents of the Coachella Valley for about five years. Police records show the couple occasionally interacted with the police following reports of panhandling and similar minor complaints, but had no major crimes listed against them. Local business owners in the East Palm Canyon area were familiar with the couple. According to KESQ, friends in the homeless community reported that the couple were both good people who were not involved in drugs or alcohol abuse.
Cathedral City police questioned employees at the nearby businesses and canvased local homeless camps on Monday searching for any clues or information that might assist in the investigation into the couple’s death. There are an estimated 30-40 local homeless individuals who officers are hoping to question, and most are familiar with one another. So far, there have been no leads on motive or a possible suspect, but detectives are confident that they will unearth information that will help solve the crime soon.
Investigators request that anyone with information regarding the murders or who noticed any suspicious behavior near the car wash call the Cathedral City Police Department at (760) 770-0300 or (760) 770-0302.
Anonymous tips can be left with Coachella Valley Crime Stoppers at (760) 341-7867.
My Desert.com: Diana James and Roger James found dead in trash enclosure