[FOUND!] McKinleyville Boy Missing and at Risk

Kym Kemp / Yesterday @ 7:51 p.m. /  News

UPDATED at the bottom.

A child is missing and at risk in northern Humboldt. The boy, Aaron Small, age 12,  was last seen on McKinleyville Avenue in McKinleyville around 12:30 this afternoon.

He was wearing the same shirt he is wearing in the photo to the right. Small has ADD, ODD and a seizure disorder.

If seen, please contact the Humboldt County Sheriff’s office at (707) 445 7251. Please share and spread the word.

UPDATE 9:55 p.m.: Aaron Small’s been found! According to his mother the boy is home “safe and sound.” He was found asleep under the stairs of an apartment complex.



Every Day is Earth Day: Minimizing Human Impact on Wildlife

Kym Kemp / Yesterday @ 10:38 a.m. /  Nature

A nest of House finches brought to the Bird Ally X clinic in the spring of 2013  (Photo by Monte Merrick)

Earth Day, celebrated on April 22 every year, promotes protecting the environment.  But Monte Merrick, co-director of Bird Ally X and the Humboldt Wildlife Care Center, believes every day is a day for taking care of the wild things that roam our world.

Release of a Kingfisher that had been tangled in fishing line. [Photo provided by Monte Merrick.]

Merrick and his crew respond to calls for help with wild animals from their rehabilitation center in Bayside. Recently, Merrick and his team rescued a Belted Kingfisher that had been tangled in abandoned fishing line. The crew removed the fishing line, kept the bird in an aviary, and released her near where she had been found (read more about the rescue here.) 

Humboldt Wildlife Care Center’s website says they rescue about 1000 animals per year. Often those rescues involve some sort of harm caused or partially caused by humans. Merrick asked LoCO to offer information to our readers about how to minimize our impact on wildlife:

His suggestions:

  • Keep cats indoors, or make an enclosed space outdoors.

  • Don’t trim branches during nesting season. Plants prefer to be trimmed in fall anyway.

  • Give nests a wide berth. Enjoy with binoculars!

  • Feathered young birds hopping around the ground are probably learning to fly. Help them by keeping kids, cats and dogs away.

  • Pick up litter. (Fishing line can be especially lethal. Be sure to gather line after using and dispose of any waste in trash receptacles.)

If you’ve found an animal you think needs help, or you have a problem with a wild family in your home or yard contact the Humboldt Wildlife Care Center  at (707) 822-8839. During spring and summer, they are open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. everyday.



Man Arrested with Meth in Garberville

Kym Kemp / Yesterday @ 9:38 a.m. /  Crime

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Press Release:

On 04-22-2014, at approximately 1:30 p.m., a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputy was patrolling in downtown Garberville when he saw Michael Lee Russell, 27 years old, a local transient. The deputy was aware Russell had an outstanding warrant for his arrest for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. The deputy contacted Russell on the sidewalk in front of the Lone Pine Hotel, where he arrested him. After placing Russell under arrest, the deputy asked him if he had any sharp items in his pockets before the deputy searched him. Russell told the deputy he had methamphetamine in his pocket.

The deputy located over 5 grams of methamphetamine, a scale and $100 in cash in Russell’s possession. Russell was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked on charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession for sale of a controlled substance, along with the arrest warrant. His total bail is set at $80,000.00.

Anyone with information for the Sheriffs 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.



Darling Uses a Pitchfork During Attack says HCSO

Kym Kemp / Tuesday, April 22 @ 4:05 p.m. /  Crime

Humboldt Co. Sheriff’s Dept. Press Release:

On 04-19-2014, at approximately 1:45 p.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call of a stabbing that occurred in the 400 block of Phillipsville Loop Road, Phillipsville. When deputies arrived on scene they met with the 66 year old male victim, who was bleeding from stab wounds to his arm and scratch marks on his face. The victim declined medical attention.

The victim told the investigating deputy he got into an argument with Paula Sue Darling, 45 years old, whom he had a dating relationship with. During the argument, Darling grabbed an ax and he kicked it out of her hand. Darling then grabbed a nearby pitchfork and started swinging it at the victim, then stabbed at his torso with it. The victim put his arm up to protect himself and she stabbed him in the left forearm.

The victim showed the deputy where the altercation occurred, along with the ax and the pitchfork that was used in the crime.

Deputies checked the area for Darling but could not locate her. A be-on-the–lookout to all area law enforcement was issued for Darling, who is wanted for assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence.

Paula Sue Darling is described as a white, female, 45 years old, 5’5” tall, 145 lbs, strawberry blond hair, blue eyes.

Anyone with information for the Sheriffs 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.



[UPDATED] Breaking News: Reports of a Suicidal Subject Jumping off 101 Bridge South of Benbow

Kym Kemp / Tuesday, April 22 @ 2:38 p.m. /  News

Emergency vehicles arrive at the scene just south of Benbow. [Photo provided by Shanda Centeno]

According to scanner traffic, a male subject jumped off a Hwy 101 bridge near Benbow into the Eel River by Fish Creek Canyon Road. Emergency services have arrived to assist.   

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.: According to Lt. Steve Knight of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s office, the subject was taken to a hospital.

From past experience, because of privacy concerns on these types of situations, there will be minimal information released.



Accident Near Redcrest Last Night/Passenger Airlifted Out of the Area

Kym Kemp / Tuesday, April 22 @ 10:14 a.m. /  News

Garberville CHP Press Release:

On April 21, 2014, at approximately 2311 hours, a 2008 GMC Yukon driven by 26 year old Courtney Patterson, of Rio Dell, CA, was traveling northbound on US-101, north of Redcrest.  28 year old Rad Kellar, of Rio Dell, CA, was the right rear passenger and 23 year old Megan Massimo, of Prescott, AZ, was the right front passenger.  For reasons still under investigation, the GMC ran off the east roadway edge of US-101 where it collided with a tree. 

The driver and right rear passenger sustained minor injuries and were not transported.  The right front passenger sustained major injuries and was transported to Redwood Memorial Hospital in Fortuna, where she was to be airlifted to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.  The driver and both passengers were determined to have been wearing their seatbelts at the time of the collision and the airbags of the GMC did deploy. 

This collision remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.  Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the cause of this collision.

Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the accident as having occurred on the Avenue.



Southern Humboldt Homicide Story Clarified by HCSO

Kym Kemp / Monday, April 21 @ 3:30 p.m. /  Crime

According to Lt. Wayne Hanson of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, somewhere between Wednesday night and Thursday morning of last week, Zachary Jacob Chapman, age 36, is believed to have died as a result of a gunshot wound. His body was dumped in or near the Eel River near Tooby Park and a trailer in the Connick Creek area west of Garberville was set on fire in an attempt to cover up the crime.

Benjamin Jasper Carter, age 33, is a suspect in Chapman’s homicide. His wife, Melinda Elaine Carter, age 41, (see photo right) was arrested at the Brass Rail in Redway on Friday for assisting in the cleanup after the homicide including moving the victim’s vehicle (among other charges. See press release below.)  The vehicle was subsequently found still running beside the road. Another woman was briefly detained but not arrested.

The trailer fire is being investigated for evidence by the Humboldt County Arson Task Force and the California Department of Justice.

A CHP helicopter searched along the Eel River on Saturday attempting to locate the body of Chapman but, according to Hanson, “unfortunately, a citizen found [it]” in the water near the riverbank. The Coroner’s office will do an autopsy later this week.

The Sheriff’s Department received credible information that the GMC pickup used by the suspect Benjamin Carter could be found in the Twin Trees area south of Garberville. On Saturday, they searched a property there but did not locate it. Eventually, the Fortuna Police Department found the truck near School and Boone Streets in Fortuna.

If the suspect, Benjamin Carter (see photo right) is seen, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public to immediately call 911 and stay away as he may be armed and is considered dangerous.  If anyone has information on this homicide they are encouraged to call Investigator Cheryl Franco at 707-268-3644 or the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251.  

Previously:

 Humboldt County Sheriff’s Dept. Press Release:

On 04-18-2014 at about 10:30pm, Humboldt County Sheriff Office Detectives arrested Melinda Elaine Carter age 41 for conspiracy and accessory to a homicide, auto theft and arson. Melinda Carter was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility in Eureka where her bail was set at $750,000 dollars. Detectives located Melinda Carter in a motel room at the Brass Rail Motel in Redway where they had served a search warrant related to the homicide investigation. Melinda Carter is the wife of the suspect, Benjamin Jasper Carter age 33, who has not been arrested yet in connection of the homicide. 

On 04-19-2014 at about 12:30pm, a citizen dialed 9-1-1 after locating a deceased male body just off Kimtu Road, Garberville. The body was in the water near the river bank. Sheriff’s Office Detectives, who were in the area immediately responded to the scene. Sheriff’s Offices Detectives assisted by the California Department of Justice processed the crime scene. The Humboldt County Coroner Office responded to the scene to take possession of the body. 

The male victim was identified by the Coroner’s Office as Zackery Jacob Chapman age 36 from Redway. Chapman appears to have died from the result of a gunshot wound. An Autopsy is scheduled for later this week. 

On 04-19-2014 the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office along with Humboldt County Arson Task Force and the California Department of Justice processed the homicide scene, which was located on a piece of property off Conic Creek, Garberville. A trailer on the property had been burned down after the homicide in an attempt to conceal evidence where the homicide occurred. 

The Sheriff’s Office is advising the public if they see the suspect Benjamin Jasper Carter to immediately contact law enforcement and do not approach Carter, who is considered armed and dangerous. They are being advised to dial 9-1-1. 

If anyone has information on this homicide they are encouraged to call Investigator Cheryl Franco at 707-268-3644 or the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251.