Body found in SF hotel was 3rd homicide of year 

The death of a 34-year-old man in a Mission district residential hotel has been ruled a homicide, making it the third of the year in San Francisco.

Police said the manager of the hotel, located at 520 S. Van Ness Ave., entered the room about 10 a.m. Monday and found the dead man. The Medical Examiner’s Office identified him as Rodney Curiel. He was lying on the bed with no obvious signs of trauma, such as stab or gunshot wounds, but it was later determined that he had been strangled, police Inspector Daniel Dedet said.

Curiel, who was originally from Napa County, had been living in the hotel for about eight months, according to police.

The motive for the killing remains unknown.

“It’s still a mystery to us,” Dedet said.

No arrests have been made.

The homicide is San Francisco’s third this year. In 2009, The City tallied 45 homicides, which was a 54 percent decrease from 2008, when there were 98.

The drop in slaying incidents — and in overall violent crime, which fell 10 percent in 2009 — mirrored a nationwide trend.

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