Monday, October 25, 2021

No Official Connection Determined in Blue Lake Homicides; Investigation Continues

Posted By on Mon, Oct 25, 2021 at 1:44 PM

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office reports that investigators have not “officially determined a connection” between the homicides of two men whose bodies were found one month apart in similar parts of Blue Lake but states the investigation is continuing.

Both of the men, according to the HCSO, were “known to live a transient lifestyle.”

On Sept. 11, the body of 65-year-old Blue Lake resident Eugene Steven Segal, who died of blunt force trauma and stab wounds, was found near Hatchery Road.

Just a month later, on Oct. 10, the body of Levi Harold Hernandez Howard was found by a trail near Taylor Way and the Mad River Levee in Blue Lake. The 29 year old's death has also been determined to be homicide but the HCSO is not releasing details, citing the ongoing investigation, although some information on Segal’s cause of death was previously released.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.

In response to questions from the public about using the trail system near the Mad River Levee, the HCSO provided a series of general safety tips, including not going alone, using well-used trails, letting someone know your plans, stay alert and turn around if you see someone or something that seems suspicious.

Read the HCSO release below:

The purpose of this press release is to provide an update to the public regarding two death investigations occurring in the Blue Lake area. Despite the close proximity of these cases in location and date of discovery, investigators have not officially determined a connection between the two incidents at this time. However, the cases are still under active investigation.

Case Number: 202104733

On Sept. 11, 2021, a deceased male was located near a trail off of Hatchery Road. The male has been identified as 65-year-old Eugene Steven Segal. Segal was known to live a transient lifestyle in the Trinidad area. His death has been determined to be a homicide.

Case Number: 202105261    

On Oct. 10, 2021, a deceased male was located near a trail off of Taylor Way, near the Mad River Levee. The male has been identified as 29-year-old Levi Harold Hernandez Howard. Howard was known to live a transient lifestyle in the Blue Lake area. His death has been determined to be a homicide.

Autopsies have been completed for both victims, however, cause of death information is being withheld pending the ongoing investigation. Anyone who may have information about either of these cases should contact the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Division at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous inquiries from members of the public regarding concerns for safety and use of the trail system near the Mad River Levee. Members of the public are encouraged to take regular safety precautions while out recreating anywhere in Humboldt County, including:

If possible, recreate during daylight hours and don’t go alone.

Choose a route well-traveled by other recreators.

If you see anyone or anything suspicious, change course and go into a store or public building to avoid danger.

Stay alert at all times. If you’re listening to music as you walk, turn down the volume so you can still hear bike bells and warnings from other walkers and runners coming up behind you.

Stay on an established trail.

Do not hitchhike or accept rides from strangers.

Inform a friend of where you are going and when you plan to return. Stick to that schedule and if extending your stay, be sure to update that friend.

Put your phone away and don’t carry large sums of cash.

Consider taking a basic self-defense class.

If you are experiencing an emergency, call 9-1-1.

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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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