APD Received Anonymous Email About Fatal Stabbing; Pleads With Writer to Come Forward

This is a press release from the Arcata Police Department. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:

kyle zoellnerOn April 15th, at 3:02am officers from the Arcata Police Department responded to the 1100 block of Spear Avenue on the report of a stabbing. At 3:03am the first officer arrived on-scene.

19-year-old David Josiah Lawson, a student at Humboldt State University, was later pronounced dead at the Mad River Hospital as a result of the stab wounds.

23-year-old Kyle Christopher Zoellner, of McKinleyville, was arrested at the scene for homicide. Zoellner was booked at the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for PC 187 – Homicide.

A knife was recovered at the scene of the crime. To date, investigators have served a search warrant and interviewed over 25 witnesses. Additional search warrants and interviews are on-going.

Today, 4/18, the APD received an anonymous email from someone who may have witnessed the homicide. The email detailed specifics of the assault. The APD implores the author of the email to come forward and provide a statement to investigators. An anonymous email cannot be used as evidence.

Detectives at the Arcata Police Department are continuing the investigation with assistance from the Humboldt State University Police Department and the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office. Anyone who may have information about this incident is asked to call the Arcata Police Department at 822-2428



  • Can’t the police trace the IP address of the sender of the e-mail?

    • They may have sent it from the library.

      • Or they .may need to get out of the office and do some police work. I know that’s an ugly thought, but it may come down to that. If they got the answers in an email, they can use them to go ask questions. APD: Don’t pin your case on this witness, use the info and go build your own case. Police suck, not because they shoot first and ask later, (and in our county they shoot white people primarily btw) but BC they are so reluctant to work. Which is why cops shoot. To not shoot in a difficult situation would require thought and work and other unpleasantness. Sorry for the rant, but their press release makes my blood boil! Get up and go to work. Stop writing a bunch of bs and go to work. Hey Jen turner….who killed Stephanie galboy!??? Go to work.

    • Not only can you use anonymous IP addresses but it is super easy to just use an internet cafe.

    • They can look at the email headers and find out what servers the email came from. They can contact the ISP to see what IP the email came from. Very few people truly know how to send an anonymous email. this could have come from one of the various computers at hsu. But with surveillance nowadays it’s possible to get video of the sender. Then again, they probably used their mobile to send the email. People are not that anonymous these days.

  • I was going to say the same thing.
    Everyone knows after Clinton that there is no such thing as an “anonymous e-mail” in this day and age.

  • The anonymous person would do well to consult an attorney before contacting the police.

    • I second that…from experience look out for number one first (that’s you). If you are not from this area, you can’t understand how deep the bro code goes here. For all you know this guy could have buddies “looking out for him”.

  • Firefighters wife

    HSU has lots of computers for use. Wouldn’t do much good to trace it.

  • LOCO has just closed their comment section on this story. Not sure why. Following the story it appears that there was a fight over a stolen phone, a fist fight…then this clown chose to use a knife to end the fight. I hope he gets convicted of murder..his criminal history is well known. Sad ending to a young life. RIP Josiah Lawson.

    • I think that they made a wise decision closing the comments. People would have gone apeshit.

    • Good thing you're not a judge.

      You hope a 23 year old is convicted of murder based on two police reports? When you say you’ve been “following the story” you really mean you’ve been “creating the story you want beforehand.”

      • This guy has been arrested before, the last time for choking an 18 year old woman.
        He got off with nothing due to lack of evidence, and probably not a well done case by our DA office and/or judge.
        This is all public information, like most arrest records, maybe look it up before chastising someone who most likely wants to see this guy in jail so he doesnt hurt or kill anyone else.
        Not to be mean, the worst part of text/email etc is the tone is lost most of the time, am just sayin…..

    • Amanda Huggachicken

      RIP Josiah Lawson. Thak you for aknowleging the identity of Josiah, a man of color And an HSU student, not the remosrse over a phone fight, the amonimity of the purpotrater whom was witnessed by 13 people.

      RIP, Josiah, a man of color and a College student.

  • No such thing as anonymous.

    The lesson to be learned from this is you’re anonymity will not be respected by the Court of The Internet when doing your duty and reporting a crime.

  • No possible way you can know how it went down unless you were there. The 23 year old stabber looks like he might have been fighting for his life. Either way violence is sad. Stealing is sad. But why are college kids needing to steal phokno or anything.

  • I agree wood chuck he does look like he was fighting for his life .The whole situation is just tradgics,and sad to both family’s what is with, so much violence it s in the college s now the last place you would think . what ever happened to animal house flounder and pinto neadermire ,and bluto outter .wtf. hope you are better kym

  • Looks like self defense to me, unless he got beat half to death afterwards.

  • I dont call it self defense, i call it being a wuss. Dont get into fights if you cant take the beating. This was NOT his first fight of the night at that party. Wait til we see what his blood alcohol level and tox screen reveal.

    Seeing as his last arrest was for choking a young woman, another wuss move, its kinda hard to believe he didnt start it. Most abusers follow a similar pattern of how they handle people who piss them off, especially when intoxicated.
    It doesnt seem like anyone stopped the fight, if he was getting whooped that bad and his buddies didnt get involved, well that says a lot about the person getting hit.

    Regardless, we werent there, so conjecture is not needed.
    Would you be saying the same if the victim was white and the perp black?

    My guess is the cops got a few swings in there too, it could mainly be from them for all you know, but you wouldnt call it self defense if he struck back at an officer. Ive seen waaaay worse than this from police beatings.

  • Yes I would color means nothing to me, you sure seem to know a lot or are you just flapping out your ass too?

  • I saw on news cahannel 3 last night he was released from custody ,so that being said .there is a whole lot more to this story than meets the eye eather way I’m still waiting for a warrent put out for my off spring .March 28 was when I was attacked they tell me it could take weeks wtf

  • what if it were your son, dead.

    Don’t any of you shit talkers IMMEDIATELY questioning “self defense” for the PERP realize that those bruises may have been caused by the young man fighting for his life WHILE BEING STABBED TO DEATH? Does it not baffle you that the police did not roll onto the scene guns blazing and shoot this Zoellner, the way they would have if the tables were turned and a white boy was lying on the ground, bleeding out? You guys are despicable, to immediately try to victimize a murderer. A man is dead because this guy hid a knife in his fists. PS. Still in custody. Must be released today if they cannot stick it to him/ bail set to 1million.

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