Body Found in Burning, Bullet-Riddled Van Identified as Eureka Man, Says Daughter

Frank Pinckney

Frank Pinckney

The body found in a burning van November 24 in a pullout on Hwy 1 a few miles west of Leggett was that of missing Eureka man, Frank Pinckney, his daughter Jasmine Barreto said today.

“They matched dental records and confirmed,” she told us. “I was notified Thursday.”

A witness saw a white male about 180 pounds wearing a white jumpsuit with logging boots fleeing the scene. “His leg was on fire,” Jamie Rennie, the witness told us. “He was patting his leg and jumping around…He was yelling incoherently and ran around to the back of the vehicle.” After that, Rennie lost track of the man.

Charred items found after the van rolled away from the spot it was originally located. [Photo provided by Jamie Rennie]

The van was later discovered to have a body in it and have multiple bullet holes. A gun was located under where the vehicle originally began burning. The van later rolled across the road, over the edge and into a tree.

In a GoFundMe, Barreto said her “father Frank was a good, kind, selfless and loving man. He touched so many people through the years. Its been an honor to talk with so many of his friends about fun stories and memories.”

Fire personnel and smoking vehicle

[Photo by Senet Kelly]

Barreto explained in the post, “As I’ve been sorting through the pieces of what’s left of my father’s life…its been a struggle to get everything done. I know many people have asked to help and donating is the perfect way.” She wrote, “I will be using the funds to pack and move his belongings, put together his services and anything else that may need to be taken care of.”

If anyone would like to help, click here for the GoFundMe.

“I loved him so fiercely and I know so many of you did as well,” Barreto wrote. “As Frank would say, “Love and light.”

Note: There is another missing man in a white van from McKinleyville. Please don’t confuse the cases. As far as we know these are unrelated.

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  • RIP. Condolences to family and friends. I hope the events leading to his death become known.

  • My heart aches for the loss of Frank, I cannot imagine the pain that has been caused by this reckless act.. please find the man responsible and make sure justice prevails! My love is with all of those effected by this awful tragedy.

  • so a murderer is still on the loose?

  • Heartbreaking, I hope he didn’t see it coming and didn’t suffer. Out of all the crimes in the world murder is one of the least understandable. I hope they find the guy who did it. Condolences to the family.

  • Murder is the least understandable? Wrath,jealousy,greed and anger is pretty understandable.

    • Perhaps what s/he means is it’s hard to understand how people go from those common but negative emotions to the actual act of murder. I suffer from the above mentioned negatives but haven’t killed anyone.

      • Ahhhhh me either sparkles. Add drugs….. and all that changes though. And I’m not talking about the victem, clearly the person who was setting the van on fire was in quite the “altered state”.

    • Very alarming that you consider murder an “understandable” reaction to greed and jealousy? Or do you just like to argue with anything anyone says so you just make up some BS to say? Personally I still don’t consider murder understandable, I hope I never meet you or make you angry since you find it easy to understand. Best of luck in life!

  • Cars are very flammable.

  • Sounds like we’ve got a homicidal nut job floating around Mendo. Catch this guy sooner than later please.

  • Can the eye witness provide an accurate description for a police sketch? How about a photo of “logger boots?”

  • i find murder easier to understand i guess. it tends to end disputes and threats of harm to ones self or family or those that are cared about. it is the behind the back hate backstabbing lieing to ones face i fail to understand.

  • I met Frank in fort bragg in the late 70s, he was a kind hearted caring and loving man, I was saddened by the news of his sudden violent death. Frank will be missed. My sympathy to his family.

  • be very careful what you donate to

  • I don’t know your father, but I sure feel awful that this happened.
    It feels like we have to always be on guard. And that we cannot trust one another enough to be generous with others.
    It feels like life is becoming cheaper than bullets. And somehow I don’t feel like more guns helps the right way.

    God bless you. Keep spreading his love. Despite this, Love is really the only antidote.

  • Listening to KMUD news tonite the Mendo sheriff person said they seem to have eliminated the 2nd person and are implying it was a possible suicide. Go to the archives and listen.

    • That’s interesting. Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department never even released the information that it was confirmed to be my father. I did. But I will listen to it.

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