Humboldt Co. Sheriff’s Office Unready to Confirm Connection in Recent SoHum Cases to Garret Rodriquez
Kym Kemp / Today @ 8:31 a.m. / Crime
Although Southern Humboldt and the comment section of the LoCO are swirling with rumors concerning the connection between the body found Sunday near Jewett Road and story of the eight men involved in an alleged kidnapping and shooting of a land owner near Rancho Sequoia, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) is unwilling to confirm the two are part of the same case and that both are connected to a disappearance earlier this year of an Ocean Beach man, Garret Rodriguez.
“It would be unprofessional and inappropriate at this time to comment,” Lt. Steve Knight stated earlier this week. “It is uncertain if there is any connection.” Knight stated that law enforcement is waiting for information from the Coroner before any solid information can be determined. At this point, he said, the gender, age, and other details of the human remains have not been confirmed.
Multiple sources that wish to remain anonymous, however, have confirmed there is a connection. Collecting information from various sources, LoCO has pieced together the following story. (For clarity, refer to the timeline at the bottom of the page.)
On Thanksgiving night, a group of men went to the home of a person believed to have knowledge of the whereabouts of Garret Rodriguez’s body. There they shot the man. He was injured and they took him away in a vehicle after tying up two visitors. What happened next is unclear, but it is known that information was extracted from the property owner as to where the grave site near Jewett Road was.
By 3:30 a.m. on Friday, the property owner somehow arrived at the Garberville Hospital where he was interviewed by the Humboldt Co. Sheriff’s Office. According to the Times Standard, the property owner “a 25-year-old Rancho Sequoia man — was shot in his shoulder and calf and had a possible graze wound to the temple, but was recovering at an out-of-the-area hospital.”
On Friday, the HCSO went to the home of the property owner with a search warrant where they obtained evidence of the incident between the group of men and the owner of the property.
At some point, the information on the grave site was conveyed to a third party who called the sheriff’s department on Saturday around 5 p.m. At 7 a.m. on Sunday, law enforcement went to the site where they located a grave.
The body was found in the grave site near Jewett Ranch Road which is relatively close (roughly 10 miles by road) to Rancho Sequoia, the last place Garret Rodriguez was known to be living.
According to the Humboldt County Coroner Dave Parris, an autopsy for the body found near Jewett Ranch Road is set for this Sunday. Parris was unwilling to discuss much relating to the actual remains including the possibility that the remains might be Garret Rodriguez but explained, in general terms when they are out on a burial site, if the facts point to a homicide, “the body is treated as evidence.” Unlike a normal death, Parris explained, “After a preliminary look, the body is sealed and won’t be viewed again until the autopsy.” This keeps the chain of evidence intact.
The body from the Jewett Road area, Parris said, will have x-rays done before the autopsy to determine if there are any “foreign substances” but they will be done from outside the seal. The information from the x-rays will be used to help Dr. Mark Super, an out-of-the-area-expert in the field of evidence collection, determine what to look for during the autopsy.
Family and friends of Garret Rodriguez are talking about the situation. An open Facebook group has multiple posts from the Lost Coast Outpost and the Times-Standard about the body being found and a group of men going to the Rancho Sequoia home and taking the property owner away. Family members are hoping their long search for their loved one is coming to a close.
Many in the community of Rancho Sequoia believe they know the name of the person who killed Garret Rodriguez. As commenter Bigg Budd says on the LoCO, “The Vigilante got information that led the Sheriff to the grave. They know who did the murder.”
Will the evidence collected be strong enough to put the perpetrator in jail?
Law enforcement asks that if anyone has any information on this case/these cases to contact Detective Sergeant Diana Freese at 707-268-3639 or the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251. She is heading up all three cases.
Although Private Investigator Chris Cook, who has been investigating the disappearance of Garret Rodriguez, is unwilling to comment on the connection between the cases, she offers that if anyone has information about what happened on Thanksgiving night and the next day, they can “contact us if they don’t feel comfortable talking to law enforcement.” Her office can be reached at 707-839-7422.
- Garret Rodriguez: Last Heard From Near ‘Murder Mountain’
- Possible Homicide:Body Recovered out Jewett Ranch Road
Friday, Nov. 29:
- 3:00 a.m.: Humboldt CO. Sheriff’s Office (HSO) receives call from two men alleging that a home owner in Rancho Sequoia has been shot and taken away in a car.
- 3:30 a.m.: HSO receives call from Garberville Hospital saying they have a gunshot victim.
- Unknown time: HSO speak to gunshot victim.
- Later on the same day: HSO serve a warrant on gunshot victim’s home. Find evidence consistent with story told by two men.
Saturday, Nov. 30:
- 5:00 p.m.: HSO receives phone call telling them of a grave site near Jewett Ranch Rd. (Rumor this was from the PI’s)
Sunday, Dec. 1:
- Around 7:00 a.m.: HSO goes to grave site. There they and the Humboldt Coroner’s office collect evidence.
Humboldt County Superior Court Calendar: Today
Us101 N Sr255 E Onr / Samoa Blvd (Humboldt office): Traffic Hazard
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Mad River Union: Northwestern Pacific Railroad History Told In Talk
Kym Kemp / Yesterday @ 9:22 a.m. / Crime
UPDATE 10:55 A.M.: Arcata Police Dept. Press Release:
“Last night, detectives from the Arcata Police Department arrested three people in connection with the November 25 stabbing death of Douglas Anderson-Jordet,” said Arcata Police Chief Tom Chapman. 24-year-old Sophie Buttercup Rocheleau of Arcata, 28-year-old Nicholas Benjamin Stoiber of Arcata, and 35-year-old Juan Joseph Ferrer of Arcata were taken into custody without incident. All three were booked into the Humboldt County Jail on charges of Homicide.
On November 25, 2013, at approximately 1:25 a.m., the APD responded to the report of a man down at the intersection of 12th and H Streets. 50-year-old Douglas Anderson-Jordet of Arcata, was found unresponsive and was transported to the Mad River Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy performed on November 30, showed Anderson-Jordet had died from a single stab wound to his heart.
“Our preliminary investigation indicates the three suspects encountered Mr. Anderson-Jordet shortly before he was stabbed. It appears Mr. Anderson-Jordet was beaten and then stabbed by his attackers,” according to Chief Chapman. “We are continuing the investigation and are still asking for help from the public,” said Chapman.
Please contact the Arcata Police Department at 822-2428.
# # #
Promo photo from the band Komatose showing singer Nick Stoiber.
Original Post: Report compiled with assistance from LoCO reporter Andrew Goff and LoCO commenter, Coreopsis.
Humboldt County arrest records (see Booked) show two people were taken into custody last night for a PC187(a)—murder. The first booked is Nicholas Benjamin Stoiber also known as Nick Stoiber, a bass player in the local band Komatose.
The second arrested was Sophie Buttercup Rocheleau whose Facebook page says she is from Arcata but attended Eureka High.
LoCO has a request into the Arcata Police Department for more information on who the alleged victim was and how the alleged incident occurred.
PREVIOUSLY: Man Stabbed to Death in Downtown Arcata
Kym Kemp / Tuesday, Dec. 3 @ 8:58 a.m. / Crime
More details of the vehicle involved in Sunday’s fatal hit and run have been released. The CHP is looking for help finding the operator of the truck.
CHP Press Release:
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) Humboldt Area office is continuing to ask the public’s assistance in identifying and locating the driver involved in a fatal traffic collision that occurred the night of Sunday, December 1st on the US-101 Northbound on-ramp from Humboldt Hill Road. The vehicle is described as a white, lifted, full-size pickup truck with tool boxes attached to the side. The driver may reside in the Humboldt Hill area or know somebody who does.
The truck may have sustained minor front-end damage as a result of this traffic collision. Anybody who may have witnessed this traffic collision or who may have information that would lead to the identification or location of the driver or the vehicle in question is urged to contact the CHP Humboldt Area office at (707) 822-5981.
Kym Kemp / Monday, Dec. 2 @ 6:25 p.m. / Crime
UPDATE 9:42 P.M.:
Press Release from the Arcata Police Department:
Officers responded to the 1700 Blk of G St and located the suspect, identified as 63 year old Stephen D. Long of Windham Maine. He was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Humboldt County Correction Facility.
Original Post:Let this be the last crime story today!
On 12-2-13 at 4:47 PM, the Arcata Police Department responded to Bank of America (697 8th St) on the report of a robbery.
Upon the officer’s arrival, they learned that a white male adult in his mid to late 50’s entered the bank and approached a teller. The man presented a note demanding money. The teller complied with the order and gave the suspect an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspect then exited the business through the west doors. The suspect was last seen wearing a dark colored jacket. He was wearing silver colored headphones around his neck and was clean shaven. The suspect had gray hair that was cut close on the sides and longer on top.
A photo of the suspect is available on the Arcata Police Department’s Facebook Page:www.facebook.com/arcatapd
The Arcata Police Department is requesting anyone that may have witnessed the robbery, or have information on the identity of the suspect, to please called the Arcata Police Department at 822-2428
Today was a rough one for the believers in Humboldt as a safe place to raise kids. In response, LoCO poked into crime statistics available on Wikipedia to see just how bad the crime rates are. How do we compare to the rest of the state? Most of the statistics there are taken from the Office of the Attorney General, Department of Justice, State of California. Table 11: Crimes – 2009 which makes this information four years old. (Let’s crowd source this, Humboldt. Who can come up with more recent information?)
According to the Humboldt County page, we have a population of 133,585. That makes us the 24th smallest county by population. There are 58 counties so we are ranked towards the lower middle.
Then, LoCO poked around in the California Locations by Crime Rate page under Counties. (Note: Clicking the arrows at the top of each column allows you to discover the order that the Counties are ranked for each respective section.)
Humboldt ranks 30th in violent crimes per 1000 persons. We’re on the lower half there but just barely. In property crimes per 1000 though, we rank 18th. We’re in the top third of the state.
Overall though, we aren’t stunningly at risk for crime. Nor stunningly safe.
Just for fun, let’s look a little closer at Humboldt. Some areas are obviously safer than others in our large county.
If we drill down a little into the stats, we can get an idea of how the most populated areas of Humboldt rank compared to each other. On the Humboldt County page under crimes, Wikipedia shows rankings of our main towns.
Violent Crimes per 1000
Rio Dell 2.35
Property Crimes per 1000 show the same relative ranking
Rio Dell 27.92
Just for fun though, LoCO thought it would be interesting to look at how Humboldt ranks in the annual Deaths Due to All Causes compiled by the California Department of Public Health. It is adjusted for age and looks at all causes of death per population. Well, maybe we shouldn’t have looked.
The good news is we don’t have the worst rate like we did in 2010.
The bad news…we have the second highest death rate in the state.
Crime, it might not be our biggest problem.