Thursday, May 12, 2016

Remains Found at Cuneo Creek Park Identified

Posted By on Thu, May 12, 2016 at 1:16 PM

Human remains found in Cuneo Creek State Park in 2014 have been identified by the county coroner's office as those of a Mexican citizen, 31-year-old Luis Eduardo Raya. The Journal originally broke the story here. (Heads up: the original story includes a photograph of the remains.)

While the press release says the remains were identified via DNA testing in August 2015, Undersheriff William Honsal told the Journal there was no call for the information to be released to the public at that time. The coroner made arrangements with Raya's family to transport his remains back to Mexico.

But a recent large-scale marijuana bust near the same area (see press release, below) renewed public attention to the remains, with some media outlets reporting that the two might be connected. This, says Honsal, is why the coroner's office was directed to send out a press release identifying Raya. Neither Honsal nor Deputy Coroner Roy Horton could confirm a connection between Raya and the grow site when the Journal contacted them Wednesday, and a cause of death for Raya is still unknown. 

From the California Department of Parks and Recreation:

WEOTT, Calif. - California State Park Rangers, assisted by multiple agencies, raided an illegal marijuana grow in Humboldt Redwoods State Park removing marijuana seedling plants, an assault rifle and toxic chemicals Monday, May 9, 2016.

Three armed suspects were located in a nearby illegal camp near Bull Creek and fled on foot when contacted by law enforcement. The three suspects remain at large.

At the illegal camp, rangers recovered an MK99 type assault rifle with hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Rangers also found rodenticides and Furdadan, a highly toxic pesticide, within the grow site. Approximately 2,000 seedling marijuana plants were removed.

Twenty acres of State Park land had been illegally cleared of native vegetation. The marijuana plants were watered directly from water diverted from the tributaries of Bull Creek.

Forty cubic yards of trash, fertilizers, pesticides, rodenticides, water hoses, hazardous material and other supplies were removed from the area. Disposal costs were paid for in part with assistance from the Humboldt County Public Works’ "Measure Z" public safety funding.

The marijuana grow and camp was found within a quarter-mile of pristine old-growth redwood forest. Rangers were assisted by the California National Guard, California Highway Patrol, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Lear Asset Management. A team from the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps assisted with trash removal.

Anyone with information regarding this particular resource crime or others on our State Parks lands please contact California State Parks at (707) 445-6547.

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Linda Stansberry

Linda Stansberry

Linda Stansberry was a staff writer of the North Coast Journal from 2015 to 2018.

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