Body Reportedly Found West of Garberville

Kym Kemp / Today @ 6:45 p.m. / News

After receiving a report that a body had been found on the river bar, the California Highway Patrol and the Humboldt Co. Sheriff’s Office showed up at Tooby Park this afternoon. [Photo by Renae Rowton-Wade.]

Breaking News: Around 12:35 p.m. today, scanner traffic shows that law enforcement received a report of a body found in the Kimtu/Tooby Park area west of Garberville down by the Eel River. 

At this time we cannot confirm whether the body is related to the homicide suspect, Benjamin Carter, being sought in Southern Humboldt yesterday and today. We can say that the location of the body reportedly found early this afternoon is within a relatively short distance of the scene of the trailer fire.

Connick Creek, where the fire was located,  is approximately a mile from Tooby Park. The Arson Task Force, the Department of Justice, the District Attorney Investigator’s Office, the California Highway Patrol and the Sheriff’s Office are all working on that Connick Creek fire case today.

LoCO has been unable to reach the Sheriff’s Office to gather more information about this situation. We’ll update as soon as possible.

An area of Tooby Park was being used for a community Easter egg hunt at the time the body was reported found.



(UPDATE) Wanted for Questioning in Homicide: Benjamin Carter

Kym Kemp / Today @ 9:11 a.m. / Crime

UPDATE, 11:45 a.m.: The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release: 

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.

# # #

ORIGINAL POST: According to a spokesperson from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, there has been a woman arrested in connection with a homicide that occurred in the Connick Creek area west of Garberville. A man, Benjamin Jasper Carter, age 33, is sought for questioning in regards to the crime.

The Department of Justice and the Arson Task Force are responding this morning to the scene of a trailer fire associated with the homicide of a male victim.

Carter has brown hair (when not shaved,) blue eyes and numerous tattoos. Carter has cursive words on both sides of his neck, skulls and the word “lover” on his abdomen, and on his chest, he has the phrases “Humboldt Breed 707” and “Real Bad Boy, Real Good Man,”  along with other inked designs.  His last known vehicle was a ‘98 black GMC License plate 6R68046. The truck has a blue tail gate with an Oakland Raider design and front end damage. 

Carter is believed to be in possession of a sawed off shotgun and an AR15 style rifle. 

Anyone with information about the crime or of the whereabouts of Carter is asked to contact the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445 7251.

(Benjamin Carter, photo taken from his Facebook profile.)


Note: an earlier version gave the wrong license plate number.

Law Enforcement Looking for Homicide Suspect in Southern Humboldt

Kym Kemp / Yesterday @ 10:37 p.m. / News

Multiple law enforcement officers at the Brass Rail Inn. [Photos provided by Satchmo Louie.]

Law enforcement is looking for a homicide suspect in Southern Humboldt tonight. They have been at the Brass Rail in Redway and possibly other places in the area, too. According to Melanie Bobo, manager of the Brass Rail in Redway, around 7:30 p.m. multiple law enforcement vehicles (belonging to both CHP and Humboldt County Sheriff’s officers) came to her business. “They had eight cops and all their guns drawn on room 1,” she said.

Bobo says that law enforcement was looking for a guest, a woman, who was staying in that room. “They said it wasn’t a drug charge, ” Bobo said. She added, “They said it wasn’t a drug charge, but what they did say [was it] was something awful,”  

Two women came out of the room with their hands up. They cuffed them and put the women in separate cars. They searched the vehicle, put it on a tow truck and drove it out of there.

Scanner traffic indicates that they are still looking for a “187” suspect which is police code for homicide.

LoCo has calls into both the Humboldt Co. Sheriff’s Office and the California Highway Patrol. When we get more details, we’ll update.

UPDATE 7:11 a.m.:

We’ve updated with a photo from last night showing law enforcement with guns trained on the room where the two women were located.

Whooping Cough Confirmed in Employee of SHUSD

Kym Kemp / Yesterday @ 9:48 p.m. / News

Southern Humboldt Unified School District (SHUSD) has sent a letter and a call out to parents today letting them know that one of their employees has a confirmed case of whooping cough. The letter states,

Today we were informed that we have a confirmed case of Pertussis, better known as Whooping cough in an employee.  Please if you or your student shows any signs of whooping cough please go to the doctor. Do not send your student to school if you suspect them having whooping cough.  Redway & Garberville clinics have the vaccine in stock in case anyone you know needs a booster.

If you have any questions please contact your school site, thank you.

According to Bambi Henderson, an employee of the District, “This afternoon the employee called and let us know.”  A message was recorded and sent via an All Call to the parents. 

Whooping cough or Pertussis is a upper respiratory infection caused by bacteria. Bouts of coughing can be followed by a “whooping” intake of air. Sometimes the coughing is so severe it can lead to vomiting. Sometimes cases can last as long as 10 weeks.

The bacteria is spread from contact with the mucus of the infected person. It can take up to three weeks after exposure for a person to begin to show symptoms.  According to a information sheet the district sent out, to limit the spread of pertussis, it is recommended that people check with their doctor to make sure their vaccinations are up-to-date. 

Below is the information provided by the District:


Coast Guard Rescues ‘Severely Dehydrated’ Lost Coast Hiker at Big Flat

Hank Sims / Yesterday @ 3:18 p.m. /

Press Release from Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay:

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin from Sector Humboldt Bay rescued a hiker from Big Flat who was severely dehydrated as a result of illness.

At 7:30 a.m. Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay received notification from CalFIRE that a female hiker was suffering severe dehydration after becoming sick overnight. Her party was extremely well prepared for the unforeseen: they had radios and emergency signaling devices on hand and marked several landing zones for the eventual arrival of the helicopter. This effort on their part greatly assisted in the woman’s eventual evacuation.

Coast Guard Helicopter 6606 launched from Sector Humboldt Bay at 8:58 a.m. and arrived on scene at 9:28 p.m. The crew immediately located the woman’s party, landed, and disembarked the rescue swimmer to evaluate the patient. After a quick examination, the woman boarded the aircraft. An additional family member was then loaded into the helicopter to accompany the patient to the hospital.

With the two women onboard, the helicopter departed for St. Joseph’s Hospital in Eureka, which had been notified of their arrival by the Sector Humboldt Bay command center. The crew arrived at 10:20, deplaned the hikers, and then returned to the Arcata airport.

The helicopter aircrew was composed of pilots Lieutenant Keith Roberts and Lieutenant Matt Fetzner, Flight Mechanic Petty Officer Derek Hietala and Rescue Swimmer Petty Officer Ryan Carr. The command center personnel who prosecuted the case were Petty Officer Casey Judd and Petty Officer Josh Griffin.

HSU Student Burned in Residence Hall Grease Fire

Andrew Goff / Yesterday @ 2:34 p.m. /

Humboldt State University press release:

Firefighters from the Arcata Fire District responded to a reported structure fire with a confirmed burn victim at Shasta Hall on the Humboldt State University campus at 9:17 p.m., Thursday, April 17.

The resident reportedly suffered 1st and 2nd degree burns to the face and hands, and paramedics from Arcata-Mad River Ambulance transported her to Mad River Hospital.Two other residents were evaluated for smoke inhalation. One refused treatment and another was taken to Mad River Hospital.

The first engine, responding out of the Arcata Fire Station, arrived at the residence hall within 2 minutes of leaving the fire station and reported that there was no fire or smoke visible. The crew met with University Police officers who reported that the injured resident was out of the building and that a grease fire had been extinguished by the building sprinkler system.

Three engines and the ladder truck responded to the call with a total of 23 firefighters.

According to Fire Chief Desmond Cowan, “It’s really fortunate that the resident wasn’t much more badly injured. The fire started when grease in a pan ignited. The resident tried to move the pot over to the sink and that’s how she got burned. One sprinkler head in the kitchen area activated and put out the fire.This incident shows how careful you have to be when you’re cooking and how valuable residential fire sprinkler systems are. The relatively small amount of water in the room was nothing compared to the threat to the occupants and the damage that would have occurred without the sprinklers.”

University personnel and firefighters worked together to evacuate the building and secure the sprinkler system. The University and the Arcata Fire District train together to manage incidents on campus and coordinate their efforts to serve the staff and residents of the University. “Our goal is to provide fast and professional service to the students and staff so that their families know they are safe when they are enrolled at Humboldt State University,” said Chief Cowan.

The Arcata Fire Protection District serves a population of over 36,000 residents in a 62 square mile area including the communities of McKinleyville, Arcata, Manila and surrounding areas.

BETTER KNOW A MCKENNY: About Those Airport Road Marijuana Busts

Hank Sims / Yesterday @ 2:16 p.m. / Crime

A not-uncommon sight at 100 Airport Road.

One thing that we’ve all learned over the past week is that a whole lot of Humboldt’s finest is being pumped out of an otherwise nondescript warehouse complex in Rohnerville. That complex — which the Sheriff’s Office names as “McKenny Industrial Warehouses” in a press release earlier today — sits at 100 Airport Road, at the corner of Drake Hill. This isn’t the first time it’s been in the news.

Back in March 2012, a Sheriff’s Office squad pulled 1,500 plants out of one of the units. A year later — in June 2013 — a federal marijuana trafficking investigation out of Salt Lake City landed at the same facility, where another 800 plants were found. This week, a representative of the Humboldt County Drug Task Force told the media that they have been up there five times in recent months.

What is it about these warehouses? Is it the individual electric and water meters on each of the units? Is it the easy access to Rohnerville Airport? Laissez-faire oversight from management? These questions are still unanswered.

We can, however, answer one question that was repeatedly brought up by the LoCO commentariat underneath yesterday’s post. That is: Who owns the thing? Yesterday your Lost Coast Outpost communed with the records in the Humboldt County Courthouse, and we think we can now clear up this somewhat confusing matter.

McKenny Industrial Warehouses — the facility in question at 100 Airport Road — is owned by Neal McKenny, one of the three brothers who owns the McKenny Do It Best hardware stores in Arcata and Myrtletown. The matter is somewhat confused, because the business right next door to McKenny Industrial Warehouses — is called “Airport Road Storage,” and its address is variously given as 500 or 1000 Airport Road. Airport Road Storage, which has never been subject to any criminal complaints, so far as we can tell, is co-owned by McKenny’s brother and hardware store chain partner, Kevin McKenny, and Alan and Mary Bongio. Alan Bongio and Kevin McKenny are members of the Humboldt County Planning Commission.

The two facilities are somewhat similar and it would be somewhat difficult to distinguish them as separate businesses, even leaving aside the fact that they are owned by brothers. A chain-link fence separates the two storage facilities, but they sit side-by-side in an area where there are no other industrial or commercial buildings. Airport Road Storage, though, seems to be much more of a traditional ministorage facility, whereas McKenny Industrial Warehouses serves a more commercial clientele. As stated above, the warehouses each have their own electrical and water meters.

Deeds of trust in the Humboldt County Recorder’s Office show that each McKenny bought his Airport Road parcel in 2006, after they were subdivided by local businessman Travis Schneider.

To repeat: The storage facility co-owned by Humboldt County Planning Commissioners Kevin McKenny and Alan Bongio is not under investigation in any way. Operations in the facility next door, owned by Kevin McKenny’s brother Neal, is. Today’s press release from the Drug Task Force notes only that the current investigation is ongoing. Given the, uh, chronic problems at 100 Airport Road, could Neal McKenny be a subject of that investigation?

California Health and Safety Code Section 11366.5(a) states:

Any person who has under his or her management or control any building, room, space, or enclosure, either as an owner, lessee, agent, employee, or mortgagee, who knowingly rents, leases, or makes available for use, with or without compensation, the building, room, space, or enclosure for the purpose of unlawfully manufacturing, storing, or distributing any controlled substance for sale or distribution shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code.

But the key word, there, would seem to be “knowingly.” Officers would have to show that Neal McKenny has been more than a victim of the growers who keep infesting his establishment.

The Lost Coast Outpost placed a call to Neal McKenny’s office this morning. It was not immediately returned.