The identity of the person found Tuesday mid-morning south of Kennewick has been released.

Benton County Sheriff's Department investigators say the deceased male is 33-year-old Hector Cortez-Ballardo of Pasco.

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His ID was delayed pending the notification of family members. Tuesday around 10:45 AM, a postal worker making deliveries in the area spotted his body off Bateman Road near Bofer Canyon Road, not far from Highway 397 where it intersects with I-82.

The worker notified authorities.  Officials say Ballardo had not been there long, and the case is now officially a homicide. They did not offer any details as to the cause of death.

No other details have been released.

 

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