Produce truck

Vermont State Police

This is the truck Roberto Fonseca-Rivera was driving in Rockingham, Vt., Friday before being discovered dead in the vehicle on the side of Rockingham Road (Vermont Route 103), according to Vermont State Police.

ROCKINGHAM, Vt. — A man whose body was found in a box truck on the side of Rockingham Road (Vermont Route 103) Friday evening died from a gunshot wound, according to Vermont State Police.

The Vermont Chief Medical Examiner’s Office completed the autopsy Sunday on Roberto Fonseca-Rivera, 44, of Boston. The cause of death is a gunshot wound of the head and neck, and the manner of death is homicide, Vermont State Police said in a news release Monday.

Fonseca-Rivera, an employee of Katsiroubas Bros. produce of Massachusetts, was in Vermont making deliveries in a company vehicle, police said. He was last seen leaving Rutland and traveling south on Route 103 Friday at approximately 12:15 p.m. 

Evidence indicates Fonseca-Rivera was shot inside the vehicle, according to Vermont State Police spokesman Adam Silverman.

According to police, investigators think he was shot between 1 and 1:30 p.m., on Route 103 near where his body was found. Police responded to a check-the-welfare call at around 5:45 p.m. Friday, which brought them to Fonseca-Rivera’s truck on the side of the highway between Williams and Lower Bartonsville roads.

Police said the initial investigation indicates this incident was an isolated one, but the investigation is ongoing.

Members of Vermont State Police’s Major Crime Unit, Bureau of Criminal Investigations, Crime Scene Search Team and Field Force Division assisted at the scene.

According to a 2018 news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts, Fonseca-Rivera was sentenced to one year and one day in prison, along with three years of supervised release, for his role in a cocaine distribution operation on the South Shore.

Fonseca-Rivera pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to posses cocaine with intent to distribute. He was one of five people arrested in the operation, accused of picking up packages containing cocaine that had been mailed from Puerto Rico, the release stated.

Vermont State Police would like to speak to anyone who saw the truck on Route 103 Friday afternoon, including anyone who may have seen anything suspicious with the truck or with any other vehicles near it. 

Police are also asking that any businesses, residences or vehicles that may have video on Friday showing Route 103 from Rutland at about 12:15 p.m. to Interstate 91 in Rockingham at about 2 p.m. to also call the Westminster barracks.

Officials from Katsiroubas Bros. were not available for comment by press time.

Anyone with potential information is asked to call the State Police barracks in Westminster at 802-722-4600.

This article has been changed to add the cause of death, and information from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts.

Olivia Belanger can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1439, or Follow her on Twitter @OBelangerKS.