On April 3, 2022, at about 10:59 a.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a residence on the 4700 block of Greenwood Heights Drive in Kneeland for a suspicious death investigation.
The reporting party told deputies that they had arrived at the residence to provide regularly scheduled caregiving assistance to the 28-year-old female resident of the home and was reportedly denied entry to the residence by a male subject. Following an argument between the two, the man reportedly assaulted the caregiver and fled in the female resident’s vehicle. The caregiver then located the female resident deceased inside the home. According to the caregiver, the man and decedent knew each other and had been spending time together in the days prior to this incident.
While responding to the residence, deputies observed the man driving the decedent’s vehicle in the Freshwater area. When deputies attempted a traffic stop on the vehicle, the man failed to yield, and a pursuit ensued.
Deputies pursued the vehicle to the area of Fickle Hill Road, where the vehicle yielded, and the man fled on foot into the Arcata Community Forest.
Numerous law enforcement agencies responded to assist with the search for the man, utilizing multiple K9s and ATVs. Law enforcement personnel searched for several hours, however, did not locate the man.
The male subject remains outstanding at this time. He is only described as a white male adult, possibly known by the name “Austin.” He is approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall, 130 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.
There is no perceived threat to the community at this time, however, community members in the Fickle Hill area are encouraged to use caution if approached by any unknown individuals and report suspicious circumstances to your local law enforcement immediately.
The identity of the decedent is being withheld pending next of kin notification. A forensic autopsy is in the process of being scheduled.
This is an active investigation and more information will be released when available and appropriate. Anyone with information about the male subject or his whereabouts is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the following agencies for their assistance in this investigation: Arcata Police Department, Cal Poly Humboldt University Police Department, Fortuna Police Department, California Highway Patrol, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and CAL FIRE.
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