Woman and 4-Year-Old Kidnapped During Slaying of Grower in Laytonville, Says Mendocino Sheriff’s Office

Zachary Wuester, Amanda Wiest, and

The status of the suspects in this case have changed.  Zachary Wuester on the left is in custody, Amanda Weist in the center and her four-year-old are now listed as victims of the case, Frederick Gaestel on the right is still wanted.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office released an update on the suspects in the homicide of a grower, Jeffrey Settler, allegedly committed by trimmers in the Laytonville area on November 11.

Victim(s): Jeffrey Quinn Settler, 35 year-old male from Bethel Island, California
Amanda Wiest, 26 year old white female, Fairfax, Virginia
Juvenile Child, 4 years old, Fairfax Virginia


Zachary Ryan Wuester

Zachary Wuester

Zachary Wuester, 24 year old white male, Haskell, New Jersey **In Custody**

Frederick Gaestel

Frederick Gaestel

Frederick Gaestel, 27 year old white male, Clifton, New Jersey

Gary "Cricket" Blank

Gary “Cricket” Blank

Gary Blank III, 34 year old white male, Elgin, Illinois

Gary "Giggles" Fitzgerald

Gary “Giggles” Fitzgerald

Gary Fitzgerald, 23 year old white male, Roanoke, Illinois**In Custody**

Jesse Wells

Jesse Wells

Jesse Wells, 32 year old white male, Binghamton, New York

Michael Kane

Michael Kane

Michael Kane, 25 year old white male, Pleasantville, New York

“Richie” last name unknown, approx 25 year old black male, possibly from San Diego, California

Written By: Lieutenant Shannon Barney


During this investigation the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Detective Unit was able to contact and interview Amanda Wiest,  a 26 year old female, from Fairfax Virginia, who had previously been listed as a possible suspect in this case. At the conclusion of that interview Wiests’ status has been changed from suspect to victim of a kidnapping along with a four year old child.  Charges of kidnapping with be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for review in addition to the charges of homicide and robbery against the suspects in this case.

On the evening of 11/23/2016 Gary “Giggles” Fitzgerald turned himself into the custody of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.  He was charged and booked into the Mendocino County Jail on a charge of homicide.  His bail was set at $650,000.

The investigation into this case is ongoing with the Sheriff’s Office Detective Unit actively seeking to arrest the 5 additional suspects in this case.  Any persons with information about this incident, or the current whereabouts of the named suspects are encouraged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Services Unit at 707-463-4111 or the Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 707-234-2100.

Earlier Chapters:



  • hmmm hold on here, she went from victim to suspect now back to victim? Looks like all east coasters, I swear Ive met more people from the east coast up here than Californians, well lets hope the rest of these clowns get hemmed up

  • Well isn’t that special? A bunch of Jersey crap stains straight out of the Clerks movie come here to tell Humboldt how it is. And kill one of us. Go the hell home you millenial weed mule idiots that can’t tie their own shoes.

  • There certainly are a lot of twists and turns to this story. So Amanda Wiest was kidnapped and is now free?

  • Honeydew Bridge Chump

    Terrorist grower groupings taking hostages….

    Marines and this is finished in two weeks.

    Illegal groupings of terrorist growers, gathering weapons, cash, open disregard for communities and children must be put to rest.

    Marines can root these terrorists from their holes, bring them to justice, and reinforce terrorists aren’t welcome.

    Growers get out, go back to your slums!

    • Sounds like you’re having a bad day Chump. I wonder what your take on the Papini ‘kidnapping’ is?

    • Your fantasy would be in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act. 18 U.S.C. § 1385.

      • Actually, Posse Comitatus only applies to the Army and Air Force by law. DOD applies it to the Navy and Marines by regulation.

    • Your fantasy would be in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution. Which I expect to happen one way or the other within the next 4 years when Drump doesn’t get his way. But his voters don’t let that fact (come to think of it, there are NO real facts surrounding that particular affliction) get in the way.

      • Roger that.

      • Honeydew Bridge Chump

        Military is allowed to deploy against internal threats.

        Growers are an internal threat, have massed weapons, and will take hostages to protect devil’s lettuce.

        Marines are trained and equipped to handle these terrorists, root them from their holes, and secure a future for children to grow up in without criminal terrorist groupings tearing down community’s future, environment, and peaceful way of life.

        The Marine Corp is the only way to bring peace to the Emerald Counties, and secure a future for children free of terrorist growers.

    • Why would an anti grower live in Honeydew of all places?? And sit around and complain about it lol

      • “CHUMP” says it all.

      • Honeydew Bridge Chump

        Livestock long before weed infiltration and community disruption.

        Terrorists weren’t here first, but we pray The Marine Corp will root them from their holes, bring them to justice, and return Emerald Counties to being a place safe for raising children.

        • AnonymousHumboldtian

          Hope I never run into you at the honeydew store. You sound like your a real bummer to talk to. You must fly into a rage every time you drive by a greenhouse.

      • the misadventures of bunjee

        Historically speaking, no one in Honeydew is anti-growing anything really. But you don’t see the greed, arrogance, shitty drivers and nightly light pollution for growing apples or wheat. Sheep herding perhaps in years past. Tan bark harvesting most definitely. However, something of one sort or another has been grown and sold for profit out of the Mattole Valley for over 100 years. It’s not THAT someTHING is being grown. It’s a general collective “FU I’m getting mine” attitude that’s prevailing.

    • Terrorists are people who threaten the lives of American citizens. Now what were you saying?

  • Shit show.

  • Oooh, now where’s that article about trimmers being an awesome and diverse group that bring so much to Humboldt county .

  • Hey Kym- Never saw an article here about the people murdered in Sebastopol over a 20 pound deal. Is that still under wraps? Or too far away for you to report? Those were also east coast killers. And that Thanksgiving killing in Knights Valley was another killing over weed. What happened w that armed robbery on Upper Ranch Rd in Redwood Valkey? That was over weed also. We should probably have an honest and open dialogue about all this stuff. Just my opinion.

    • Good ?’s Bobby Brown I heard about that Sonoma case

    • AnonymousHumboldtian

      Bobby how do you know it was over a 20 pound deal? You ought to call the cops and let them in on what you know, because all the articles I read, and police made no mention of that. All they said was marijuana was on the property.

      • Honeydew Bridge Chump

        The cops are overwhelmed with terrorist growers, it’s why we need the Marine Corp to fix this nonsense and bring the lettuce head terrorists to justice.

        Communities don’t like terrorism pumping creeks dry, cutting trees, gathering weapons, and positioning themselves to take hostages.

        Marine Corp needs to secure the area, root them out, and bring the terrorists to justice.

      • 1 pound 20 pound the devils lettuce is not worth killing for, hey honeydew bridge troll that might be the strain for 2017 “devils lettuce”

      • You are referring to the recent stabbing death. I was also referring to a shooting near Sebastopol that hit the papers in mid-October. The police know about the pounds as do many people although that info may not have been immediately released. My point was that we should acknowledge and try to understand the reasons why there is now much more violence in the weed world. I feel that many of us are in denial and don’t want to see what’s going down because we feel a need to defend the lifestyle. But Ive never seen it so violent and I think it’s not going to get better by ignoring it. Of course- just my opinion!

        • im referring from the father and son that just pleaded guilty of murder for less than 1 pound to the the 100 stolen by the east coasters in laytonville

    • Another reason why prohibition doesn’t work. Illegal markets create this type of violence.

  • SoSickOfGreedyGanjaDespicables

    All I can think of in this is, (if its true), is the child. Gheez, poor lil kiddo, at a trim scene of all places. No disrespect to the lost man, much love and condolences.

  • She was kidnapped my ass

  • That’s her story and she is sticking to it if she wants to stay out of prison. Someone is getting framed for another serious charge while she skates through life. If she wasn’t involved, would have turned herself in from the get go. Besides, how did she jump in her car and drive to mommy’s in the bay area if she was kidnapped ? Something stinks !!!

    • The woman that originally was missing and was actually in the bay with her mom is Jeff’s partner and mother of his children not Amanda Weist.

  • Wait, what? Who kidnapped her, and how did she get free? There is so much more to this story. Witnesses on the road early in the morning saw two vehicles leaving there. Who was driving? How does the cottage motel fit in, and why if there was a reported kidnapping at the beginning is this just coming out now. Every update to this story just brings about more questions…poor Jeff, R.I.P man

  • My bad J….Thanks for clarifying.Peace

  • There is a fund set up for expenses and to help his partner and his children, ages 15 months and three weeks old. https://www.youcaring.com/jeffsettler-694138

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