SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY -- Eric Wright appeared in a San Joaquin County court on Thursday. He is accused of assaulting a Stockton man who was found dead in a plastic tote box in Manteca on Monday night.
Neighbors FOX40 spoke to said they did not recognize Wright or the victim, Mark Soderstrom.
Wright did not say much as he heard the charge against him -- assault with a deadly weapon, a non-firearm.
The 34-year-old defendant was arraigned on Thursday afternoon in connection with Soderstrom’s gruesome death.
“Well, it’s a little bit scary to be out here in the country and know that something that terrible could have happened right down the street,” neighbor Patricia Hansen said.
Many neighbors FOX40 spoke to said they’ve been in the dark about what exactly happened at the home on the 2800 block of East French Camp Road in Manteca.
The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department said on Monday night the property owner found a body hidden in a plastic tote box inside of a shop. The remains were later identified as Soderstrom’s.
“And I had heard that relatives were living in the property, but that’s pretty much all I know,” Hansen said.
Investigators have not released whether Wright or Soderstrom lived at the house and the pair’s relationship also remains unclear.
FOX40 reached out to Soderstrom family, his daughter Nancy wrote to us and said, “My father is very loved by more than just his family… he had absolutely no problems with any one he encountered.”
At the courthouse, a group who appeared to know about the case had no comment. As for the community, they're still in disbelief.
“I just feel bad for their families… both of them,” Hansen said.
Wright is expected to be back in court for further arraignment on September 1. His bail is set at $100,000. We also reached out to Wright. He declined multiple requests for an interview.
The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office said as the investigation into Soderstrom’s death moves forward, more charges could be filed against Wright.