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.
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.
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.