[UPDATE 6 p.m.] Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office: No Suspect in Redway Homicide

In spite of reports on social media describing a distinctive-looking man with tattoos being the killer, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has no suspects in the Redway homicide at this time, according to spokesperson Selena Zorrilla-Mendoza. She appealed for the community to let law enforcement do its job. “Please don’t try to apprehend or confront anyone,” she said.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is not yet confirming the identity of the victim but a friend of Stephanie Gawboy confirmed that she is believed to be the woman found dead of a gunshot wound on Wednesday at a residence on Redway Drive.

“I’ve been in touch with the coroner,” said the friend. “I was on the scene. I went to her house.”

Without giving a time frame, Zorrilla-Mendoza of the Sheriff’s Department stated, “We are looking for anyone who might have been around during the time…If anyone has any information in regards to the investigation, please call [Detective Jenn Turner] at (707) 268-3642.”

UPDATE 6 p.m.: Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

The decedent in this case has been identified as 52 year old Stephanie Faye Gawboy of Redway, Ca.

Sheriff’s Detectives are investigating this incident as a homicide. Anyone with information in regards to this case is encouraged to call Detective Jenn Turner at (707) 268-3642 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.

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Stephanie Gawboy practicing Aikido [Photo provided by a friend.]

Stephanie Gawboy

Gawboy enjoyed nature. [Jacob Whitney photographer]

Stephanie Gawboy

Gawboy was active in the anti-GMO movement in Humboldt County [Combination of two photos of Gawboy provided by a reader.]

Earlier Chapter: Woman’s Death in Redway a Homicide, Says Humboldt County Sheriff Department



  • She looked like a very happy, kind person. Young looking for her age. This is so very sad. I hope the guilty party is found. May family and friends find peace.

  • “The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is not yet confirming the identity of the victim ”

    What is going on? In a previous release they said her name.

  • Honeydew Bridge Chump

    I wonder if where the pro GMO weirdo stalker type, that was going to plant GMO gardens around the county and would hassle heirloom people, was then.

  • The sheriff is to bizzy to do anther cold case ,and this one is getting very chilly 48 hr all you get to gather evidence .it’s way after 48 hrs .

  • I have read numerous descriptions of a “person of interest” in other media. White guy with red hair in dreads.
    We really need some clarification from law enforcement. Or is this another skateboard girls “mystery”?

    • His entire front face is tattooed red. He has dreads & is short.

      • So why is law enforcement not putting out a bolo on this guy?

        • What I’ve heard is that law enforcement has already talked with him and he’s not a person of interest. The description that is going around did not start with law enforcement and is dangerously reckless

          • The claims are circumstantial, nothing solid that could hold up in court but it does raise eyebrows considering the timeline and his last interactions with her. Hopefully forensics will tell us the rest of the story. RIP Stephanie a community crys for your loss!

    • I grew up with the man you’re referring to & I recently seen him in the courthouse in MN where I work so let me clarify a few things first he has dark brown to black dreads the tattoos on his face are black/blue ink he’s not Native American his mother is white father African American he was on a interstate compact transfer parole from MN where he served 13 years for beating a police officer almost to death & sale of methamphetamine

  • Virginia Graziani

    Wow, I am so sorry and shocked to hear this. Stephanie was one of the first people I got to know when I moved to Redway in the early 90’s. She was indeed a kind, warmhearted person who cared deeply for nature and her fellow humans. I am sure she will be much missed.

  • Friend of hers...

    Has anyone heard of a funeral or memorial in honor of Stephanie?

    • Mid September or a bit later. I’m working on it in coordination with family members, some of whom are still out of town and working toward a date they can all make.

      • Thank you Darryl. Hoping it does not come same time as the Headwaters Reunion but understand it needs to be at the family’s convenience first. Put me on the list for volunteering at this memorial. Wish we had that huge banner ‘Stable Slopes Forever’ That she painted. I loved it <3 so much, but I think it was stolen. Anyone know about that banner?

      • Holy kitty cats….was she the woman that would be out there on Fridays with Paul E’s peace group???

      • I hope you’re not trying to exploit Stephanie’s death, Darryl, for more publicity. Seems to me the community members as a whole who knew her would be more appropriate for such memorial/family coordination. Stephanie had several relationships with men with Owl’s being the longest one as far as I know. I too loved her as we too had a brief time together. Stephanie was the brightest woman I have ever met.

  • I would go to her for massage , she was very firm & gentle in her technique, sometimes she would walk on your back,or use her elbows.
    Why anybody would kill her is puzzling , she treated everybody with kindness and understanding. I will miss her.

  • There is no justice in the law anymore…
    if you want to get away with murder they say do it in humboldt…Not funny anymore.
    we have to fire all of our systems and start over corruption …is leagle here too? What can we do humboldt?

  • Whitewolf Switzer

    This is Grandfather Whitewolf. Stephanie was a very dear friend of many years. She was a firekeeper in my Lodge. I hold her spirit in the highest regard in reverence for the beautiful being of light she was on her earth walk and is now. My ❤ to her daughter, Tara and her mom.

  • THIS IS SO SHOCKING!! I am still trying to wrap my head around this!! And that it could happen right in residential Redway, in the sweet nest Stephafire created for herself and her business. Very unjust!
    Stephanie was a warrior woman! She was clear and driven in her beliefs. She matched her beliefs/words using her body, money, time and energy. And, she kept her sense of humor; was easy to laugh (when not in warrior mode).
    We met soon after she came to the community, some 30 years ago. Then, and for years after, she felt threatened and was very concerned about a certain person who had been in her life. Her move to So Hum was to be a secret hide out for her and Tara. (And we know that Stephanie was not a fear-based person. That tells me how serious a threat it was!).
    Did that person (a man; won’t say more here) finally find her and kill her? Since no one has posted this serious suggestion, I plan to offer it to the Sheriff.
    And yet, while the info being circulated did not say if she was assaulted in some way, it does sound like she may have trusted her killer. Unless, though it does not sound likely, she was put on the massage table after her murder.
    I am SO SAD and desperate for answers. Stephanie was one of the people who did not turn her back on friends. She did not buy into gossip to condemn others, a rare trait, even in the So Hum community that preaches ‘Forgiveness’.
    Stephanie had true love, compassion and passion! Will miss her!!!

    • That man did not, would not, could not have done what you are implying. That man, when he heard the news last Thursday, broke down and sobbed while I held him. And that man will be in Redway soon to help his daughter deal with her mother’s belongings, etc. and it would be a shame to add even more grief to what is already an unbearable situation for all of us.

      I am the one who drove Stephanie and her daughter to the bus stop that day in 1988 when she decided to leave southern California and go no-contact with that man. My daughter, her daughter’s half-sister, was 2 weeks old. Stephanie and I were very close, speaking often on the phone, occasionally writing and less often, seeing each other. I *know* that she was not afraid of that man in that way.

      In 1991, that man and Stephanie resolved their differences amicably. He wanted to spend more time with their daughter and had no wish to interfere in Stephanie’s life beyond that and she agreed. Since that time, the two of them have never been anything other than friendly and loving toward each other and they managed the co-parenting of their daughter quite well over the next 25 years. You must not have known Stephanie very well not to have known that.

      I would much rather post about all the wonderful things I remember about Stephanie, but instead I find myself answering your unwarranted and irresponsibly speculative accusation.

      Please let the investigators do their job. Even the family knows only that it was a gunshot wound. Speculating beyond that is pointless and maybe even harmful.

      One more thing, please correct the spelling of Stephanie’s daughter’s name.

      • Mama Carrie. I am grateful to read and know your information! Your pain is apparent and I am sorry if my posting caused you more.
        Still, I was trying to add to the process of helping the tragic mystery of Stephanie’s death. I did not, in my posting, share the relationship ‘the man’ had to her. I did not ask Stephanie to offer more about her fear than what she shared with me. Nor did I ask again (years later) about the fear she (once) held. I am curious (want to help) and angry. I knew her over 3 decades and yet not all the details of her life.
        With what you have shared, I now feel no need to get involved.
        Stephanie was one of the most committed people I have ever met! She was consistent in her support for a better world. Walked her talk. She was a talented masseuse. We always had fun and camaraderie with our shared social justice issues. Never met anyone like her. I will miss her. Thank you for your deep caring for and protection of her (and her loved ones).

        • Thank you for your reply, aFireGoneOut; I understand the need to find answers, especially since the whole thing seems unreal and pointless. And regarding pointing fingers, there but by the grace of God, go I.

          I never met anyone else like her, either. There is a huge hole in my life where she used to be. I know that she is here in spirit, but I haven’t been able to feel her yet. I miss her so much. I miss her sweet smile, her laugh and her beautiful skin. Did you notice that she seemed to be getting younger rather than older? I thought I noticed that when I saw her in June.

          I even miss that she sometimes would interrupt me if she felt that what she was saying was more important, which it often was. And it makes me sad that she probably never wore the slipper socks that I knitted for her earlier this year. I made them to match a pair I had made for myself and when I wear mine, I will have bittersweet memories of her.

          I didn’t realize how much I loved Stephanie until she was gone. Just in the last week, I have thought several times of phoning her, but then remembered that she’s not there. My heart breaks again each time I think of her and this horrible, senseless thing that has happened.

          You thanked me for my deep caring and protection of Stephanie and I would like to thank you for the same.

          And Kym – I really appreciate the photos that have been posted here as for me, at least, they are clear representations of Stephanie’s kind and loving spirit. Thank you.

  • Amen Mama Carrie!

    And for those of you doubting Mama Carrie’s above reply, I can too vouch for the positive relationship between That Man and Stephanie.

    Stephanie’s entire extended family is heartbroken. Stop making it worse with unwarranted accusations you have no basis for in the first place.

  • Something most people are forgetting when speculating, and talking crap.

    This woman had a family, friends, and some of them could be reading these comments.

    I happen to have had the pleasure of meeting this woman some years ago. She came from good people.

    They should be allowed to mourn the loss in peace.

    Having a loved one murdered is a serious shock to the system.

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