Crime

Sunday, October 20, 2019

EPD Arrests Tennessee Man on Suspicion of Murder

Posted By on Sun, Oct 20, 2019 at 10:32 AM

Whited
  • Whited
Eureka police have arrested a 22-year-old Tennessee man on suspicion of the murder of Brett Keiling, who died after a Sept. 26 assault near the 400 block of Third Street.

Eureka detectives, working in conjunction with the city's Community Safety Enhancement Team, identified Connor Whited as a suspect in the case, obtained an arrest warrant and took him into custody Saturday without incident.

Whited is being held on $1 million bail after, according to EPD, the investigation determined the fatal assault was not a random act of violence and that Whited had targeted Keiling, 55, who had recently moved to the area from Indiana.

See the full press release from EPD copied below:


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Friday, October 11, 2019

Assault Investigation Now a Homicide

Posted By on Fri, Oct 11, 2019 at 12:01 PM

FILE
  • FILE

An Indiana man who had just moved to Eureka was assaulted Sept. 26 has died as a result of the injuries received, according to a press release sent out by the Eureka Police Department.


The case is now an active homicide investigation and an autopsy is scheduled for today.


On Sept. 26, a sergeant with EPD found 55 year-old Brett Keiling with injuries suffered during an assault as the officer was patrolling the Third Street area. Keiling was transported to a local hospital for emergency care.


Anyone who has information about the crime is asked to contact detective Ron Harpham at 441-4305 or rharpham@ci.eureka.ca.gov.


Read the full press release below: 
Update:
The victim of the September 26, 2019 assault near the 400 block of Third Street has passed away as a result of the injuries received during the assault. This is now an active
homicide investigation. The next of kin has been notified and the victim has been identified as Brett Keiling (55 of Indiana). An autopsy is scheduled for October 11, 2019. This is an active investigation and further information will be released as appropriate.
Anyone who has information about this crime should contact Sr. Detective Ron Harpham at 707-441-4305 or rharpham@ci.eureka.ca.gov

Original Release:
On September 26, 2019 at about 5:25 a.m., a Sergeant with the Eureka Police Department was patrolling an alley near the 400 block of Third street in Eureka when he located an injured man. The 55-year-old male, who recently moved here from Indiana, was
transported to a local hospital for emergency care. Investigators have determined that the injuries are from an assault that occurred at about 4:15 a.m.


This is an active investigation and further information will be released as appropriate.

Anyone who has information about this crime should contact Sr. Detective Ron Harpham at 707-441-4305 or rharpham@ci.eureka.ca.gov


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Monday, October 7, 2019

One Shot at Cannabis Farm Robbery

Posted By on Mon, Oct 7, 2019 at 9:44 AM

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department is searching for three vehicles involved in an armed robbery at a reportedly legal cannabis farm near Blocksburg, where one person was shot in the hand.

“We got called at 4:40 [this morning,]” Lt. Mike Fridley said. “There were five to seven armed subjects all wearing black with black masks... They pistol-whipped everybody. ... Shot one in the hand.”

Deputies respond to an armed robbery near Blocksburg this morning. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Deputies respond to an armed robbery near Blocksburg this morning.
Fridley said the suspects took an undetermined amount of marijuana and other items before fleeing the scene in three trucks. The vehicles were last seen traveling westbound on Alderpoint Road passing Tooby Ranch Road about 5 a.m., according to a witness.

Fridley wants everyone to know that the suspects fled in a small white U-haul truck, a white Ford F250 towing a white enclosed box trailer and a yellow Penske truck.

“If anyone sees these vehicles, call 911,” he asked.

A Blocksburg resident who wished to remain anonymous said she awoke at about 4:15 a.m. to banging at her door and someone yelling for help.

“I wasn’t going to answer the door,” she said. “I thought I was getting a home invasion.”


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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Rio Dell Police Name Eureka Man 'Person of Interest' in Shooting

Posted By on Wed, Sep 25, 2019 at 1:07 PM

Shooting victim Johnny Renfro. - RIO DELL POLICE DEPARTMENT
  • Rio Dell Police Department
  • Shooting victim Johnny Renfro.
The Rio Dell Police Department has named a Eureka man as a “person of interest” in a fatal shooting of 26-year-old Johnny Renfro that took place Aug. 29.

According to a release, the department is having a “third party” analyze any information related to the killing contained on “numerous mobile phones, computers, recordings and other modern technology,” that were obtained via search warrants.

“It is believed that when the results of these warrants are received, there will be enough evidence to seek an arrest warrant
Demetrius Coleman - RIO DELL POLICE DEPARTMENT
  • Rio Dell Police Department
  • Demetrius Coleman
 for the shooter,” the release states. “Additional investigation into the motive for the shooting is ongoing and the Department has also identified a person of interest in the investigation, Demetrius Coleman, 39 of Eureka, California.”

Renfro pulled over on Monument Road around 6:30 p.m. Aug. 29 and was walking away from his car when another driver pulled up and opened fire, according to information previously released by the city.

The Honda Accord believed to have been used in the shooting has been recovered, the release states.

Anyone with information is asked to call Sgt. John Beauchaine or Rio Dell Police Chief Jeff Conner at (707)764‐5642.
Front of the Honda believed used in the shooting. - RIO DELL POLICE DEPARTMENT
  • Rio Dell Police Department
  • Front of the Honda believed used in the shooting.
Rear of the Honda believed used in the shooting. - RIO DELL POLICE DEPARTMENT
  • Rio Dell Police Department
  • Rear of the Honda believed used in the shooting.
Update from the city of Rio Dell:


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Monday, September 23, 2019

Bone Positively ID'd as Belonging to Missing Woman

Posted By on Mon, Sep 23, 2019 at 3:26 PM

250495_1551087595142850_6975468388572319450_n.jpg

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office confirmed today that a human femur found near the mouth of the Eel River in June is that of Sheila Franks, who went missing in early 2014.

The positive identification — first reported by Redheaded Blackbelt — came earlier this month from the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Forensic Services laboratory in Richmond, accord to Lt. Sam Williams.

“The Sheriff’s Office had previously secured DNA from family members and that was used in the comparisons,” Williams said in an email to the Journal. “In September, the Sheriff’s Office received written notice from the DOJ that the bone was in fact a femur belonging to that of Shelia Franks.”

Williams said the coroner’s office was notified when the bone fragment was found by a private citizen June 10 and the area was searched for any other possible remains, but none were found.

Franks, who was 37 at the time, disappeared within a week of Danielle Bertolini, whose skull was found in 2015 by a man who had gone fishing on the Eel River, just upstream from Howe Creek. Both women were last seen with the same man, who has previously been described by law enforcement officials as a "person of interest."

“The cause and manner of death are undetermined at this time. The case is not labeled ‘Homicide,’ however, it is suspicious and is being investigated accordingly,” Williams wrote. “As to a ‘person of interest’ versus ‘suspect,’ no changes have been made to this point. The person of interest is the same in both cases.”

Williams said the investigation is ongoing with the sheriff’s office and the Fortuna Police Department continuing “to work closely together and share information."

The Sheriff’s Office and Fortuna Police Department encourage anyone with information in either case to contact investigators at 445-7251 or 268-2539.
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Saturday, September 14, 2019

Pedestrian Killed in Orleans Hit and Run

Posted By on Sat, Sep 14, 2019 at 9:12 AM

chp.jpg
A pedestrian was killed in a hit-and-run crash on State Route 96 in Orleans shortly before 8 p.m. yesterday.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the pedestrian — whose identity is being withheld until family can be notified — was reportedly walking in the middle of the roadway when hit by a black Toyota pickup that fled the scene southbound on State Route 96.

The pedestrian died at the scene.

CHP’s investigation is ongoing and it asks anyone with information about what happened to call 268-2000 or email humboldt_area.humboldt_area@chp.ca.gov.

See the full press release here.
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Friday, September 6, 2019

Rio Dell Police: Stop Sharing Photos of Alleged Shooting Suspect Online

Posted By on Fri, Sep 6, 2019 at 2:45 PM

The Rio Dell Police Department is asking the public to refrain from playing home detective and speculating about who the suspect is in a fatal Aug. 29 shooting and sharing his photograph on social media.

“The Rio Dell Police Department has become aware of social media posts that include a picture of a man fitting this description and who is labeled as the shooter,” the department said in a press release. “We respectfully ask that if you have a reasonable suspicion that an individual is a suspect in this crime that you share that information directly with the Rio Dell Police Department. Please do not post or share social media that claims to identify a suspect.”

The car believed to belong to the suspect. - CITY OF RIO DELL
  • City of Rio Dell
  • The car believed to belong to the suspect.
Johnny Mack Renfro, a Humboldt County resident originally from Texas, was killed in a drive-by shooting at about 6:30 p.m. Aug. 29. According to police, the suspect is described as a black male adult with dreadlocks who is believed to have been driving a “dark emerald pearl” color Honda Accord EX or EXL coupe with a broken back window. According to the release, the color can look green, blue or black depending on lighting conditions.

The press release states that video footage of the shooting from a nearby security camera has been sent to the FBI for “enhancement.”

Police ask anyone with information about the shooting to contact the Rio Dell Police Department at 764-5642.

See the full press release copied below:

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Friday, August 30, 2019

UPDATE: Victim in Fatal Rio Dell Shooting ID'd

Posted By on Fri, Aug 30, 2019 at 9:02 AM

UPDATE:

The man killed last night in a Rio Dell shooting has been identified by officials as Johnny Mack Renfro.

According to a release, video surveillance cameras captured the incident and police are searching for a suspect driving a dark colored car that is believed to have one or more broken or missing windows.
The car believed to belong to the suspect. - CITY OF RIO DELL
  • City of Rio Dell
  • The car believed to belong to the suspect.
PREVIOUS:

The Rio Dell Police Department is investigation the death of a 26-year-old man who was shot after he pulled over on Monument Road around 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

The suspect in the case, who was described by witnesses as a black male with dreadlocks, remains at-large.

According to a release, the victim had to pulled to the cub and was walking away from his car when another driver pulled up in a two-door car (believed to be a Honda or maybe Saturn or Acura) and opened fire.

The scene of the shooting. - CITY OF RIO DELL
  • City of Rio Dell
  • The scene of the shooting.

The victim, whose name is being withheld pending notification of family, was shot once in the abdomen. He was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“The Humboldt County Major Crimes Task Force was requested to assist the Rio Dell Police Department with the investigation,” the city’s release states. “Detectives and evidence technicians from numerous Humboldt County law enforcement agencies congregated in Rio Dell to help canvass the neighborhood and gather evidence.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Rio Dell Police Department at 764‐5642.

Read the full release below:


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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Altercation in Humboldt Linked to Apparent Homicide

Posted By on Tue, Aug 27, 2019 at 10:00 AM

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the apparent homicide of an Illinois man whose family last heard from him after he was reportedly in an altercation with a man he’d been traveling with at a campground in Humboldt County.

According to a press release, a car connected to Grant David Whitaker, 25, of Mackinaw, Illinois, who had been reported missing, was found near a Dollar General Store in Clearlake Oaks on Aug. 24.

lakecounnty.jpg

The next evening, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office "obtained additional information" that the man Whitaker was traveling with, Mavrick William Fisher, 21, Elko, Nevada, had admitted killing Whitaker and were given “detail directions as to where Whitaker’s body could be located.”

After serving a search warrant on a property in Upper Lake, detectives with the Major Crimes Unit located what is believed to be human remains in a remote area on Aug. 26.

Fisher was contacted by Mexican law enforcement officials in Rosarito the same day. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office release states efforts are underway to extradite Fisher to the United States.

Read the full release below:

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Thursday, August 22, 2019

Vehicle Thefts in Humboldt Declined Last Year

Posted By on Thu, Aug 22, 2019 at 2:07 PM

Fewer vehicles were stolen in 2018 than the previous year, according to statistics released  by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, with Eureka leading local cities in the highest number of incidents.
sheriff.png


There were a total of 569 vehicles reported to county’s law enforcement agencies as stolen last year compared to 721 in 2017, according to the release on information from earlier this year. Of those, 64 were in Arcata, 253 occurred in California Highway Patrol or HCSO jurisdiction, 203 were in Eureka, 0 in Ferndale, 34 in Fortuna and 14 in Rio Dell.

The release notes that “a significant number” were taken using the vehicle’s key, often after being left running unattended or with a spare left in the car.

The HCSO also states that “pre-1999 Honda and Toyota passenger cars, along with Toyota trucks, are being stolen with a similar worn key due to their worn ignition switches.”

Among the latest trends is stealing vehicles via residential burglaries, with thieves entering homes and taking keys that are hanging on racks or lying on tables near the entryway, the HCSO reports.

“Approximately 80 percent of vehicles stolen out of Humboldt County are recovered, however they are usually stripped of anything valuable,” the release states. “Garage door openers are also stolen at the same time making victims more susceptible to future home burglaries.”

Read the full release and a series of tips from the HCSO below:


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