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Police ID homicide victim after neighbor hears three gunshots

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HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- Investigators in Hanover County have identified the body discovered yesterday in the 1500 block off Mickie Town Road as 30-year-old Craig  Bates, according to Major Micheal Trice with the Hanover County Sheriff's department.

Bates' body was found yesterday around 10 a.m. The incident is being investigated as a homicide, Trice said.

"Known family members have been notified and we ask that you keep the family and friends of Craig Bates in your thoughts and prayers," Trice said in a Sunday news release.

Family members, who are still coming to grips with the news, remembered Bates a "happy-go-lucky" kind of guy that everyone loved.

"I heard three gunshots this morning about 6:40 - 6:45 a.m," said a neighbor who lives on Mickie Town Road. The woman, who spoke with WTVR CBS 6 on the condition of anonymity, said she looked outside and did not see anything.

A short time later she says, it was raining when she pulled out of her driveway with her children.

She then received a call from her son that confirmed something was wrong and said "there's a dude passed out in our driveway." She said she told him to call the Sheriff's Office.

Before deputies arrived, a neighbor called her back and said "the guy has a gunshot wound."

The area where the body was discovered is in the Maiden's Community, on the Louisa and Hanover County line.

The neighbor said she never seen anything like this.

"I don't know what happened, what's going on, but normally it's a very quiet neighborhood, so I just don't know," she said.

"There are signs of trauma, however the cause and manner of death are still under investigation. Investigators are evaluating all evidence in this case and are working closely with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine the cause and manner of death," read a news release from the sheriff's office Saturday.

The Hanover County Sheriff's Office wants to talk with anyone who knows what Bates was doing Friday or Saturday. If you have information that could help investigators, call Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.

Craig  Bates (SOURCE: Family photo)

Craig Bates (SOURCE: Family photo)