Thursday, April 1, 2021

DA Names New Chief Investigator

Posted By on Thu, Apr 1, 2021 at 3:45 PM

click to enlarge Kyla Baxley is sworn in as the chief investigator by District Attorney Maggie Fleming. - COUNTY OF HUMBOLDT
  • County of Humboldt
  • Kyla Baxley is sworn in as the chief investigator by District Attorney Maggie Fleming.
The Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office announced today that Kyla Baxley has taken on the role of chief investigator, having previous served as the senior district attorney investigator, replacing Wayne Cox, who retired on Tuesday.

Baxley, who joined the office in 2013 after five years with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, grew up in Eureka and received a degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida after also attending Humboldt State University.

“I recognize the vital role the District Attorney Investigations Division can have on the cases our office receives for prosecution,” Baxley said in a news release. “I have always valued the opportunity to interact and build professional relationships with the allied agencies and our community. I feel fortunate I am in a position to continue to do this and look forward to leading the Investigations Division with honesty and integrity.”

Cox — who served as chief investigator for eight years —is widely known for his work in solving the murder of 14-year-old Curtis Huntzinger, a Blue Lake boy who was missing for 18 years before his body was found in a shallow grave in December of 2008, and bringing his killer to justice.

The next year, he was named the California District Attorneys Association’s first-ever “Investigator of the Year” as well as received the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s annual Law Enforcement Excellence Award.

“Among many other valuable qualities, I appreciated Wayne Cox’s willingness and ability to handle an incredible variety of tasks (at all hours) and the value to our Office of his amazing network of connections to people throughout the county and state,” District Attorney Maggie Fleming said in a release. “I also look forward to Kyla Baxley’s service as chief investigator, because her track record gives many reasons to anticipate that she will be excellent in her new role.  Humboldt County has greatly benefitted from the service of Wayne Cox; we are fortunate to continue benefitting from the service of Kyla Baxley.”

Read the full release from the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office below:

The Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office announced Kyla Baxley has been promoted from Senior District Attorney Investigator to Chief Investigator.  Chief Baxley grew up in Eureka and attended both Eureka High School and Humboldt State University before graduating with a degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida.  She joined the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office in 2007, where she worked as a patrol deputy and later as a detective before joining the District Attorney’s Office as an Investigator in 2013.  Chief Baxley has served as a member of the Child Abuse Services Team throughout her tenure as a DA Investigator.  Her selection as California Sexual Assault Investigator of the Year in 2017 indicates the excellence of her work and level of commitment.  Following her selection as Chief Investigator, Kyla stated: “I recognize the vital role the District Attorney Investigations Division can have on the cases our Office receives for prosecution. I have always valued the opportunity to interact and build professional relationships with the allied agencies and our community. I feel fortunate I am in a position to continue to do this and look forward to leading the Investigations Division with honesty and integrity.”

Chief Baxley replaces Wayne Cox, who retired on March 30 after serving as District Attorney Chief Investigator for the past 8 years.  Former Chief Cox worked in law enforcement for over 30 years, including service with the Eureka Police Department and the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement before he joined the District Attorney’s Office in 2007.  The California District Attorneys Association recognized Chief Cox’s outstanding work by selecting him as Investigator of the Year in 2009.  His many contributions to law enforcement include recognizing the need for, and leading the establishment of, a Major Crimes Task Force (MCTF) for Humboldt County.  Established in 2018, the MCTF has already made key contributions to several investigations.

District Attorney Maggie Fleming shared her perspective on the change in Chief Investigators: “Chief Investigator for the DA’s Office is an exceptionally challenging job.  Among many other valuable qualities, I appreciated Wayne Cox’s willingness and ability to handle an incredible variety of tasks (at all hours) and the value to our Office of his amazing network of connections to people throughout the County and State.  I also look forward to Kyla Baxley’s service as Chief Investigator, because her track record gives many reasons to anticipate that she will be excellent in her new role.  Humboldt County has greatly benefitted from the service of Wayne Cox; we are fortunate to continue benefitting from the service of Kyla Baxley.”
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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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