Monday, April 21, 2014

Updated: Man Wanted for Questioning in Possible SoHum Homicide

Posted By on Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 3:13 PM

click to enlarge Benjamin Jasper Carter
  • Benjamin Jasper Carter
The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office has identified the victim of an apparent homicide in Southern Humboldt as 36-year-old Zackery Jacob Chapman, of Redway.

Meanwhile, a suspect in the case, 33-year-old Benjamin Jasper Carter, remains at large, according to Sheriff's Office Lt. Wayne Hanson. The Sheriff's Office launched its investigation after someone called 911 to report finding the Chapman's body, dead of an apparent gunshot wound, in the water off Garberville's Kimtu Road.

In a press release, the Sheriff's Office says detectives found a "homicide scene" on a piece of property off Conic Creek near Garberville, with a trailer that had been burnt in what they deem "an attempt to conceal evidence." Carter's wife, 41-year-old Melinda Elaine Carter, was arrested Friday in Redway on suspicion of conspiracy, being an accessory to homicide, auto theft and arson. 

For more information, see the full press release from the Sheriff's Office and the initial post below:


On 04-18-2014 at about 10:30pm, Humboldt County Sheriff Office Detectives arrested Melinda Elaine Carter age 41 for conspiracy and accessory to a homicide, auto theft and arson. Melinda Carter was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility in Eureka where her bail was set at $750,000 dollars. Detectives located Melinda Carter in a motel room at the Brass Rail Motel in Redway where they had served a search warrant related to the homicide investigation. Melinda Carter is the wife of the suspect, Benjamin Jasper Carter age 33, who has not been arrested yet in connection of the homicide.

On 04-19-2014 at about 12:30pm, a citizen dialed 9-1-1 after locating a deceased male body just off Kimtu Road, Garberville. The body was in the water near the river bank. Sheriff’s Office Detectives, who were in the area immediately responded to the scene. Sheriff’s Offices Detectives assisted by the California Department of Justice processed the crime scene. The Humboldt County Coroner Office responded to the scene to take possession of the body.

The male victim was identified by the Coroner’s Office as Zackery Jacob Chapman age 36 from Redway. Chapman appears to have died from the result of a gunshot wound. An Autopsy is scheduled for later this week.

On 04-19-2014 the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office along with Humboldt County Arson Task Force and the California Department of Justice processed the homicide scene, which was located on a piece of property off Conic Creek, Garberville. A trailer on the property had been burned down after the homicide in an attempt to conceal evidence where the homicide occurred.

The Sheriff’s Office is advising the public if they see the suspect Benjamin Jasper Carter to immediately contact law enforcement and do not approach Carter, who is considered armed and dangerous. They are being advised to dial 9-1-1.

If anyone has information on this homicide they are encouraged to call Investigator Cheryl Franco at 707-268-3644 or the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251. 

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is searching for 33-year-old Benjamin Jasper Carter to question him about a possible homicide in Southern Humboldt.

The Sheriff’s Office sent out a press release this morning saying it received information Friday “regarding a possible homicide involving a firearm that occurred in the Southern Humboldt area” and is consequently searching for Carter. The release does not indicate when the possible homicide occurred, or where.

Humboldt County Coroner Dave Parris confirmed Saturday afternoon that a deputy corner from his office is on scene somewhere outside of Garberville, but said he didn’t have any further information.

Carter, described as standing 6 feet, 3 inches tall and weighing 180 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes with an array of tattoos, is believed to be armed and dangerous. “If seen, do not approach and contact law enforcement,” the release states.

Check out the full press release below for information about Carter’s truck.

The following is a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:


On 04/18/2014 the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received information regarding a possible homicide involving a firearm that occurred in the Southern Humboldt area. The Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating this allegation with the assistance from the District Attorney Investigator’s Office, Department of Justice (DOJ), Arson Task Force, and the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

Benjamin Jasper Carter is wanted for questioning in association to this investigation. Carter is described to be a white male, age 33, 6’3”, 180 lbs, brown hair, and blue eyes. Carter’s head may be shaved bald and he may have a goatee and mustache. Carter has multiple tattoos on his chest, back, arms, legs, and neck. Carter is associated with a black GMC truck, CA license 6R68046. The truck has a blue tailgate with an Oakland Raiders design and front end damage. Carter is believed to be armed and dangerous. If seen, do not approach and contact law enforcement.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

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Thadeus Greenson

Thadeus Greenson is the news editor of the North Coast Journal.

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