Mendocino Police Release Photo of Suspect in Former Mayor's Killing
This afternoon, the Mendocino Sheriff’s Dept released a photo of the man suspected of killing Jere Melo (a popular former mayor and current councilman in Fort Bragg.) Saturday morning, Melo and another forester were inspecting the property of Campbell Timber Management. According to the Press Democrat,
The two men apparently encountered Bassler, who was living in a compound on the property, allegedly growing marijuana and possibly other drugs, said another source close to the investigation.
The other forester was able to escape and call for help on a cell phone. A commenter on this post stated that he was injured (though not shot). He was able to flag down help from Skunk Train employees.
Police have been using helicopters and combing the hills looking for Aaron Bassler, a transient identified as the suspect. Residents in the area have received a reverse 911 call telling them to stay indoors and watch for a man wearing all black clothing. They were also told they would receive a reverse 911 call telling them when it was safe. They have not yet gotten the second call.
The Mendocino Sheriff’s Dept. released the following information.
Aaron Bassler is wanted for the murder of Jere Melo on August 27, 2011 just east of Fort Bragg. Suspect Bassler was last seen with a firearm. He should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 463-4086 or (707) 467-9159.
UPDATE 7:30: The SF Gate has more information including,
In 2009, Bassler faced federal charges after allegedly throwing packages into the Chinese consulate in San Francisco on four occasions, bringing out the bomb squad each time. The packages contained drawings of red stars and writings that referred to the “Martian military” and Chinese weapons designs, authorities said.
Bassler completed a pretrial diversion program and the charges were dropped….