Missing Eureka Man Linked to Burning Van Found With Body in It, Says Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office
On 11-24-2018 around 1:13 PM a citizen reported a vehicle fire at mile marker 100 on North Highway 1, just south of the Town of Leggett.The citizen reportedly saw an adult male, possibly in his 50’s, wearing a white jump suit and heavy logging style boots fleeing the scene. The witness indicated the man’s legs appear to be on fire as he was last seen running onto a private gated logging road to the southeast of Highway 1.Personnel from the California Highway Patrol, Leggett Valley Fire Department and Cal Fire personnel responded to the scene to extinguish the fire and discovered a deceased male inside the vehicle. Emergency personnel saw what appeared to be numerous bullet holes in the side of the van and a gun was located on the ground nearby. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office initiated a criminal investigation into a possible homicide based upon witness statements and evidence located at the scene. The Mendocino County Inter-agency SWAT Team was requested to assist with a search of the nearby logging roads where the suspect was last seen. A search of the area was conducted but the suspect was not located.
The suspect was described as a white male, in his 50’s, approximately 6’00” tall, weighing approximately 180 pounds. The suspect may have suffered burns to his legs, hands, and may have singed hair.
The burned vehicle, a 2004 White Ford Econoline Van (California Lic. #8Y79772), was registered to 58 year old Frank Pinckney, out of Eureka CA. The vehicle is further described as being a utility van with a lift gate on the rear and a large mirror attached to the back door. At this time Frank Pinckney is missing and family members are concerned for his well being. A vehicle similar to the involved van is pictured below.
The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance. Anyone with information related to the suspect or anyone who might have seen Frank Pinckney or his vehicle in the past several days is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office Communications Center at 707-463-4086 or the Sheriff’s Tip Line at 707-234-2100.
Video of the burning van from Senet Kelly
Earlier Chapter: Body Found in Burning Van; Witness Describes Encounter With Suspect