Mendocino Sheriff Says Jere Melo and Matthew Coleman Homicides Related
(Photos:Matthew Coleman, Jere Melo, Aaron Bassler.)
On August 11, 2011, Matthew Coleman was shot and killed in a remote area located near the 44000 block of North Highway One (1) near Westport, CA.
On August 27, 2011, Jere Melo was shot and killed in an area approximately six (6) miles east of Fort Bragg, CA.
Both victims were shot and killed while conducting duties related to their forestry management profession.
Mendocino County Sheriff’s Detectives are continuing to collect evidence, speaking with witnesses and conferring with both the California Department of Justice Forensic Laboratory analysts and the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office.
Based on evidence collected at both murder scenes during this ongoing investigation, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Detectives have obtained an arrest warrant for Suspect Aaron Bassler in connection with the shooting deaths of victims Matthew Coleman and Jere Melo.
Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office personnel,with the assistance of officers and agents from the Fort Bragg Police Department, Willits Police Department, Ukiah Police Department, CalFIRE, California Department of Justice, California Highway Patrol, California Fish and Game, Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Marshall’s Office, United States National Guard and the local timber industry are continuing their search efforts in an attempt to apprehend Suspect Aaron Bassler.
The Mendocino Land Trust is currently offering a reward of Reward to “find and convict Matt’s killer” of $17,500
In other news on the Melo case, the Ukiah Daily Journal discusses law enforcement’s dilemma–
My dilemma is this,” said Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force Commander Bob Nishiyama: “In this economy, every law enforcement agency is taking a hit. Every dime is being pinched. Consequently, there are less law enforcement resources to go out there and do the job, which, quite frankly, should be a law enforcement job. … We don’t have the bodies to go out there and look, and it falls to private citizens to go out looking, and they’re putting themselves at risk.