[UPDATE] ‘Good Progress’ Learning About Death of Fortuna Teens, Says CHP Spokesperson

hit and run vigil by Patsy Yazzolino

Emergency personnel at candlelight vigil for two teenage victims of a hit and run driver. [Photo by Patsy Yazzolino]

The death of two young girls in Fortuna a week ago left a community shaken and grieving. Officer Cy May, a spokesperson for the California Highway Patrol said today that his agency, “made good progress over the weekend…We contacted several more potential witnesses.” But, he said, the agency is not ready to release information to the public.

“We still have not had direct contact with the main suspect,” May stated.

At this point we know that a vehicle struck the two teenage girls as they skateboarded along Eel River Drive, a rural road south of Kenmar Drive about 9:15 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12.

The vehicle, a Jeep, fled south. A witness arrived at the accident and called 911 very soon after the accident.

Scanner traffic records tells us that at approximately 9:25 p.m. an officer reports to dispatch. He states, “1148ing X [code for transporting a female]…mother of the possible victim from Drake Hill down towards…[this part is covered by another sound.] Listen at 26:14 below.

We believe that this is an officer transporting the mother of one of the victims from her home near the accident scene to her daughter.

One child died on the scene and the other died after being flown to the Oakland Children’s Hospital for treatment.

The next day the suspect vehicle, a grey 2015 Jeep Wrangler, was found at the residence of one of the victim’s mothers not far from the scene of the crime. According to May, the vehicle was found in the backyard behind a fence. He said that contrary to a report we had previously published, he did not believe the vehicle was covered by a tarp.

May stated that officers were on the trail of the vehicle used in the incident before an lawyer for a suspect contacted them. On July 14, Attorney Benjamin Okin told us that he thought that information from his client led to the search of the Becker Lane home in Fortuna where the suspect vehicle was found.  He stated, “I believe that it is our contact that led to recovery of the jeep and the search warrant.”

However, Officer May stated, “We had the info before we were contacted by the attorney.”

Latest update911 Call Reporting the Hit and Run Which Left Two Girls Dead Last Week; Warning, This Is Graphic Audio

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94 comments

  • veterans friend

    I wonder why it always says the girls were skateboarding. Could they not have simply been walking, carrying their boards? It was after dark wasn’t it?
    Assuming seems wrong.

    • It was not dark. 9:15 in mid-July is still daylight. The sun had just set at 9:01 and headlights would not legally be required until 10:01. The girls were skateboarding because it is a legal form of transportation. Why on Earth does that need to be justified?

      Glad CHP is releasing updates. Looks like the little bit of information her lawyer gave out was guarded lies. Still, that’s his job so I don’t blame him.

      • Darkness is one half hour after sunset to one half hour before sunrise CVC 280. CVC 24400 is the enforcement section for a violation.

        You are correct that it was not during “darkness”.

        However you would be legally need to have headlights on at 9:31 not 10:01. Just don’t want you getting stopped for misinformation.

      • The attorney said, “believe.” He might have been mistaken in his belief.

      • it was hardly daylight at 9:05 pm a week and a half ago…it was dusk at best, the hardest time of day to see while driving. And obviously, it’s a possibility that the driver was under the influence, and then, all bets are off.

    • CHP said skateboarding and as they were in charge of the crime scene, I assumed they spoke from some knowledge.

    • Assuming in this situation IS wrong.

    • It wasn’t quite dark yet , I went to Fortuna the day after it happened around 9:05pm and there is no reason that pedestrians couldn’t be seen by vehicles that should have their lights on at that time .

  • them poor girls[edit]this is so sad and would have to be so traumatic for any parent to have so she or be told about.prayer go out to the family of the two young girls.you girls are in good hands now,God will take great care of you.

  • too bad scanner blip ends three seconds before 26:14 which is where we’re told to listen. i guess this was before a suspect was suspected, making some sense of updates and press releases stating that there has been zero contact with suspect. at the same time, adds confusion to whom received said search warrant and handed over keys to Jeep. thank u nonetheless for this update. scary levels of heartbreak all the way around

    • I’m not sure if your media play shows it differently or what but here’s where I can begin hearing the clip.

    • i hear the that quote at 22:30. seems as in all things, nothing can get on the same page, eh.
      “1148ing X …mother of the possible victim from Drake Hill down towards…”

      btw, thanks kym for the info.

  • Such a sad situation for all involved. The lives of two young girls were taken too soon. My thoughts and prayers are to the families also to those young girls. I just hope that the person involved comes forward to say what happened that night. People can speculate but the truth will come out. R.I.P. girls your always going to be remembered for many years to come never forgotten <3

  • So if I run a skateboarder over and drive straight to my attorney, I won’t get arrested?

  • Why is it that they have not arrested the suspect?
    Our law enforcement is incompetent!
    Is it because the person had gone and contacted an attorney after committing murder? After all a vehicle is a deadly weapon, also did the perp take her or his sweet time after fleeing the scene and there is no way of telling wether or not this person was under the influence of alcohol or other substances.
    Either way two girls are dead and it’s time me to make that arrest!
    Our enforcement is apparently scared to uphold the law they swore to uphold and enforce and that is a joke!
    Not just I but more than half the county knows what a joke they are.
    if the people were to enforce the law themselves 5 his person would have been dealt with already.
    have Downey himself or the agency doing the investigating please explain to us the taxpayers how this is fair let alone make sense!
    ASAP please ASAP!

    • Sheriff’s Office has nothing to do with this investigation, other than pulling coroner duty. That would be CHP.

    • Law enforcement has to have evidence to present in court. They have to follow procedures. If they jump the gun and arrest without proper evidence then suspect can get off in court. I may be wrong but I also think that if the suspect contacts a lawyer and says the lawyer will talk for me and present my confession, when it does go to court the confession didn’t come from the suspects mouth but the lawyers, so it may not be admissible. I wish the suspect would just come forward and give the victims peace and justice instead of hiding behind a lawyer. Also, if you think that law enforcement isn’t doing their job correctly, maybe you should become an officer and see if you can make a difference.

      • you’ve never heard of “under arrest for SUSPICION of ….”?

      • It is quite normal for suspects to be arrested before a report is ever written. The police can even arrest someone on suspicion, let them out and then rearrest them later because they have new evidence. There’s nothing wrong with that!

        Who knows how much evidence the suspects were able to dispose of because they were no arrested in a timely manner.

    • Isn’t it better to wait and charge the right person, than to rush out and arrest the wrong person?

      It sounds to me like there is some question as to who was behind the wheel. Hopefully evidence will reveal who was behind the wheel at the time of the crash.

      • Right. I understand everyone’s frustration, I feel it too. But it’s not about us.

        • No, it’s about a high-price lawyer negotiating the very best outcome for his client with law enforcement, in total secrecy.

    • I would love to see an arrest in this case. Just as much as the next parent. However I would rather have them do a thorough investigation to get the culprit with a solid case, and not get the wrong person, or have the right person let go to to some type of goof up, or stupid crap! I to want her arrested, but how can they do it, if they can’t make contact with her? Why is the lawyer not charged with aiding and abetting? (SP?)

      Thank you for the update Kym.

      • Lawyers, like doctors and priests and some reporting entities, have “privileged” status; they can’t be forced to divulge their information or sources. It’s supposed to keep them free of charges like aiding and abetting. af

    • You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. You have no idea what the legal process is regarding this case nor do you know what evidence the CHP has in their possession in order to make an arrest.

      • All they need is reasonable suspicion. It’s a pretty low bar to meet. Reasonable suspicion that someone committed a misdemeanor.

  • The law enforcement is taking their time, to make the best case they can against the driver. They want to be sure all of their i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed, so that the woman who did this pays the highest price possible in the courts. This is an extremely delicate situation, being that the mother to one of the girls is the one who hit and killed them both. It was her jeep, at her home. They need to get everything in order to charge her to the fullest, because once they do, the clocks start ticking, and you know her lawyer is already planning some sort of defense to get her off…. Let the law enforcement do their job, pray for the families, that somehow they get some closure on this tragic event.

    • CHP and prayer, two agencies that do not respond to public opinion whatsoever.

    • Who says it was “her” seems to me that if the police wanted to question “her” they would contact her lawyer and have her come in. The lawyer has contacted police on her behalf and they have not brought her in. Anyone that says she should not “hide behid her lawyer” obviously doesn’t understand the severity of the charges the Real offender faces. The more I hear the more I begin to undersrand this does not sound like a straight forward case to me. Obviously the CHP suspects/ knows something all you geniuses don’t. Imagine that! CHP is the best agency to handle this investigation. They will find out who was truly driving the jeep.

  • It’s been over a week since these two little girls were ran over and left in the street. I am outraged that the person who committed this unthinkable act is able to wake up each morning in the comfort of there home and go about there life.. After hearing the scanner traffic it just sickinnes me to death. Our justice system is F’d up, put this monster away already. This couldn’t be that hard of a case to solve.

    • “comfort” “own home” doubt it seriously, main person of intrests has fleed. all fingers point to mother or son, but maybe it was joe

  • Cancelling my car insurance and putting an attorney on retainer, apparently better coverage this way

  • I think the continuing theme here–stated at the end of several articles on this very sad situation –is that law enforcement doesn’t know where suspect is at this time. The retained attorney suggests otherwise. So even when ready —law enforcement cannot serve suspect with arrest warrant. A warrant may be issued and suspect may be searched for and hopefully picked up while in hiding and brought back to Humboldt County to face charges. The attorney may be playing an attempted game of “legal cat and mouse” stating to press that all is well and his client is available ——waiting for law enforcement to make their move —then attorney will make them available but only brought in by attorney and only facing questioning or charges with attorney by his/her/their side. I may be wrong. But I think this may be what is happening.

  • Michelle Steele

    I know who these people are and there is a lot more to this sad story then what anyone is willing to say. As for the mother I can not see how she can live with herself. She should be in jail and not hiding out. She knows she was in the wrong so she needs to face the consequences if any at all and as for the Lawyer she got he needs to be charged for aiding and abedding her. Anyone else would be charged for doing this for someone else who commited a crime. Saddest part she knew she was wrong and hired a Lawyer to try and get lighter time I believe. I have had 2 daughters my self who were murdered by a man and he didn’t get as much as a fine or jail time or anything but a slap on the hand and basicly told go out and do it again. He was the driver of his car and was on a suspended license n no Insurance. My girls didnt know him well but when they left there friends house (which we never knew they did till the corner showed up at our house) to give us the horrid news. D.A. Galleagos at the time didn’t do squat and neither did judge Christopher Wilson. Judge Wilson didn’t even disclose he had a relationship with this kids Aunt till trial was over we learned. So don’t be suprised if this mother gets off with no charges. Our justice system is so screwed up at times you don’t know who to trust anymore on some things.

    • Sorry for your loss, but it appears you don’t know anything more than anyone else. The case with your children is just that. This is an entirely different case. Have you spoken with someone in the family? If you have information you should go to the authorities and with it. DO NOT POST IT HERE. Please do not feed the vultures.

      • Hey ‘What A Loss’ When are you going to stop defending the accused? I still think you are the mother posting under ‘What A Loss’ Please shut your pie hole! If you know something nobody else knows then please enlighten us, otherwise do us all a favor and stop putting people down for their opinions!

        • Quote me where I defended anyone involved? I have not defended anyone in any of my statements here. I have criticized people for their speculation, assumption and ignorance, not their opinions.
          I don’t, but if I did have info, I certainly would not let it loose to you and your ilk.

          • To “what a loss” : you are forgetting that there are intelligent and knowledgable people thinking about this and noticing– not just the words you and others are saying– but how you are saying them and the way you are saying them. Whether you are aware if it or not (and my guess would be you are not) a person can have a specific “tone” when they write. It can be quite obvious. In your case it is. You are probably a family member attached to this very sad case. Or a friend/ neighbor/person of interest/whatever. Just saying…

    • God Bless You, I remember when this happened to you.

  • Michelle Steele

    Harboring a fugitive by her Lawyer is a crime in itself don’t you all think. If the police don’t know where she is they say then who is to say she didn’t flee the country and her Lawyer could be helping her hide.

  • Michelle Steele

    Charger are in Order here I say

  • Back to the Land for Answers

    I know that her boyfriend helped cover this up, in my circles of people that know him the word is he was either driving or in the vehicle and helped with cover up. His truck was found at her house blocking the gate that led to the Jeep. This is a senseless act and I can only put out there …Dude, turn yourself in. People need closure and its man up time. If their suspect is not him, then he is definitely helping hide either Marci or her son. The whole thing is disgusting, time to come clean. Our hearts our broken for the loss of these girls. You are taking away their dignity by not giving closure on this.

  • I have no idea what happened exactly, but if I had accidentally ran over and killed my own child and another child, the last thing I would do is get a lawyer. I would be in a padded cell on suicide watch.

  • Pingback: Fortuna Hit and Run Update | Umbrella of Suspicion

  • Wow the suspect could be in Mexico by now .We don’t even have a name to much this whole thing is horrendous.

  • From what I read by officer Cy May, he states that an officer transported the mother of one of the victims to the accident sight……which is the mother whom owns the suspect vehicle!!! Can that officer indicate if she was DRUNK OFF HER A**??

    • I agree be very interesting to know how she acted that’s all I well say.

    • And I don’t get it… Where did the officer transport her from?? From mom’s house to the scene of the accident? That is confusing. I heard she went back to the scene on foot. As far as drunk of her ass… I’m not speculating but if a person was drinking AND on drugs, such as meth…they could probably still hold themself together pretty well, plus add adrenaline to the mix. That would sober me up pretty quick. This whole thing is mind boggling and the imaginable. Prayers to the Families! <3

  • marci kitchen has a boyfriend? i thought she was married to joe? wonder what the movtive was to murder these girls? sexual? jealousy?

  • If the officer took mother to crime scene then he must have knew her personally and if that’s the case maybe he is helping the mother and that’s why they are not releasing info. Sounds dirty to me

  • If you read John Chiv’s blog he reposted a commenter theory of why no info is being released or no arrest has been made by saying maybe the suspect signed herself into a mental health facility and being under doctors care then no information can be recovered. Could be on to something there too, along with the cop that drove her to scene.

  • A cop drove the suspected mother to scene of crime, that leads me to believe they know each other personally. So maybe the cop is helping his friend out by either obstructing evidence or information or by leading her to attorney and if you read John Chiv’s blog there is a theory that maybe the suspect signed herself into a mental health facility and can be protected under a doctor’s care for now. It sounds like the suspect has law enforcement friends and is being protected by them as well. This case may have some officers hindering more than helping.

  • Sick sick sick,come on people don’t put shit where it’s not.i think everyone needs to take a breather!I’m sure it will all come to light soon enough.and their will be hell to pay!!!

  • Humboldt Idiocracy

    Kym, the son is a minor. The comment with his name should be deleted. It’s sick that people are ok with throwing around theories without considering this kid’s loss. This whole community, including me, wants to know what happened last week but making stuff up only does more damage to those who are likely innocent victims.

  • No, let’s be honest here. It’s Humboldt County. There is no “checking herself” or “signing herself” into mental health facility. It doesn’t work that way here. To get something like that accomplished her attorney would have had to transport her out of county to a big city.

    • Shawnee craddock

      Does the son have short blond hair and a round face? Kinda small guy?

    • Around here its more likely she’s hiding out in the hills somewhere. If they were looking for her, a public BOLO would be helpful. Put her on the county’s most wanted list. But she’s got enough money for an expensive lawyer so she’s not a *real* criminal.

    • Yes exactly. I highly doubt she is in Humboldt county anyway. Could have just stayed in bay area.

  • It’s not her they are looking for. It’s the owner of big black truck they was used to hide the jeep behind her gate. Her son has been seen around, he isn’t in hiding. The guy she has been sort of dating was seen driving her jeep earlier that day. And his dad is a local lawyer, not Okin. I don’t want to name names on here but damn this is a clueless situation.

    • Why on earth then would she take blame for this???

    • That truck sure fits a grow dozer don’t know but sure fits the type.

    • I can’t believe ANY mother would take the blame if her boyfriend killed her daughter and the daughter’s friend. A couple of people have mentioned to check Petrolia. There is a rehab out there. I had a friend who was there for nearly 9 months. For the first 3 months she wasn’t allowed to talk by phone and after 6 months she was finally allowed to have visitors. The patients all worked in the garden and around the facility. Maybe that’s where Marci is. I don’t remember the name of the place, but I’m sure other people are aware of its existence.

  • What is the name of Marci daughter that died? I know Faith’s name but not Marci’s daughter. Where is the girls father? Does anyone know how he is doing? Did any of the family attend the memorial? When is this little girls funeral? Have these questions been answered and I missed them, or have they been over looked because of Marci going missing?

  • @from Hoopa,
    The girls family realtionships are a bit confusing to me. From what I gather, Marci’s daughter who passed away is Kiya. The mother was involved was Marci Martz, not Marci Kitchen. I believe the mother was not with Kiya’s father.

    • Kiya… Beautiful name. I kknwo that Marci had a boyfriend and not with Kiya father. I really wish he would do a press release. At least clear up some rumors. Have they had her services yet?

      • I was thinking same thing. Where is father and parents of Faith? If they were on honeymoon i would think they would be back by now. Why haven’t they spoke out demanding justice??

        • They were not on their honeymoon but were on vacation. The father of Faith still lives in Humboldt. Faith and siblings were up here visiting family. Parents of Faith received the call on vacation and came up to Humboldt right away. Her services were last Saturday at Hydesville church. I would imagine they want answers but are currently mourning the loss and pure disbelief, shock and pure anguish of the death of their daughter.
          Marci Martz is name of Facebook. Same person as Marci Kitchen.

          • Oh ok, so where is Joe Kitchen? From what I read Marci and Joe are not together, did he go to Oakland with daughter as well? I understand grieving process but if the person that caused my child’s death is still out there and CHP has no idea where she is I would do whatever I could to help get them in custody. Even of it was the mother of my child. And if what I read and it may have been boyfriend then why would you take the wrap. It’s been a week and barely any information. Is it police procedure to transport civilians to the scene of accident?? That doesn’t seem like it’s supposed to happen. There are so many unanswered questions and I pray for the families to get the truth of what happened, and those poor innocent girls deserve justice.

    • Back to the Land for Answers

      You just confused everyone

    • Marci Marz and Marci Kitchen are the same person. Kitchen was her married name.

  • It is not weird for an officer to transport someone to the accident, to a hospital or even a morgue. Most people aren’t expected to be able to function after a death of a loved one. I doubt they suspected her at the time. Word around town was she had just left the bar. In that case I can totally grasp that she was so drunk she didn’t realize what she had hit until she got the news. In which case I can also picture the immediate shut down of reality. I can see how this played out the way it did. It would take a while to work up the guts to come forward to your family friends and community. The ultimate shame. I’m sure she contemplated suicide. I’m sure her son didn’t want that. I know we all want to compare her reaction to what our own reaction would have been but that’s not realistic. You never know how you will react to something until it happens. She came forward. So give your pathetic community detective Bullshit up and let the police handle it and quit using this as a source of entertainment for yourselves. Other articles clearly stated the suspect was ready to turn themselves in but the police were not ready to book, they wanted to investigate further. There are people out there whose lives will never be the same over this. They have to live with this tragedy. Quit with the Nancy Drew shit.

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