Two sisters of an Omaha man found dead in a Washington County ravine said Tuesday they couldn't think of any reason he would be so far from home.
Investigators discovered the body of Delbert J. Freemont Jr., 52, covered by snow, in a deep, wooded ravine Dec. 9, said Washington County Sheriff Mike Robinson.
They needed several days to determine the man's identity and are now treating his death as a homicide. No arrests had been made.
Detectives found the body along the 2500 block of County Road P40 after getting a tip, Robinson said.
Crime scene investigators from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office were working Tuesday at Freemont's Omaha home near 40th and Blondo Streets.
“We're really kind of baffled about what he would be doing up there in Washington County, or who he would have been with,” Brenda Freemont said. “Last we knew, he had been incarcerated. Then he got out (of jail) and went home.”
Since the 1980s, Delbert Freemont served three stints in Nebraska prisons for arson, felony drunken driving and domestic assault. He was most recently released from prison in September 2012 and completed his parole on the domestic assault conviction in March.
He was arrested again in May on suspicion of felony domestic assault involving his girlfriend. However, the charge was dropped after she refused to cooperate, Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said.
Miranda Freemont of Macy, Neb., traveled to Omaha after receiving news of her brother's death. She said her brother will be taken to the Omaha Indian Reservation in Thurston County for funeral services.
Delbert Freemont's sisters said he was born and raised in Omaha as one of six children.
He attended the now-closed Dominican High School, where he became interested in boxing.
According to World-Herald archives, Freemont became an Omaha Golden Gloves tournament champion in 1977, fighting at 112 pounds for the Northside 1140 Boxing Club.
Brenda Freemont said that in recent years, her brother did odd jobs and took care of his wife, Rosa, who had been paralyzed in an auto accident. Rosa Freemont died in 2009.
“They met after the accident, and he took a lot of his time caring for her,” his sister said.
A neighbor, Michael Williams, said he knew Freemont for more than 20 years and described him as “pretty easy to get along with.” Williams said he hadn't seen Freemont at home since late September.
Freemont also is survived by his daughter, Korina Freemont; sister, Daphine Cantu; and brothers, Elwood Freemont Sr. and Rodney Freemont, all of Omaha. He had eight grandchildren.
World-Herald staff writer Todd Cooper contributed to this report.