Skeleton Identified as Missing Suspect in Marijuana Ripoff
When George Preston Daniels didn’t show up at the Humboldt County Courthouse on March 24, 2016, for charges stemming from what authorities said they believed was a marijuana ripoff, he became a wanted man. But most likely, he was already dead.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office confirmed today that Daniels was identified in January as having been found deceased in the Eel River in May of the year he disappeared.
Over the spring and summer of 2016, bounty hunters from a local bailbond office scoured the area, even hiring a small plane at one point to search for Daniels’ vehicle. Daniels was never located in spite of a reward offered by his bail bondsman.
Meanwhile, on May 15 of 2016, skeletal remains were located in the Eel River near Stafford. At the time, Humboldt County Coroner Ernie Stewart stated, “We are treating it as if it were a homicide.”
According to Samantha Karges, spokesperson for the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department, on May 31 of 2016 the remains were shipped off to a forensics lab for analysis.
Ernie Stewart, the Coroner, has said while the skeleton was “remarkably intact” and still had 90% of all its bones, there was only “a small amount of tissue” left.
Karges said that teeth were then sent to the DNA lab for analysis. On January 8 of this year, they received the report showing that the body was that of the missing and wanted man George Daniels.
Daniels had been arrested in the falll of 2015 on suspicion of being involved in a marijuana ripoff after “a large pile” of freshly harvested marijuana was “located over an embankment on Hwy 36” near McClellan Mountain by CHP deputies investigating a hit and run accident, according to a press release by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.
The press release stated,
…[D]uring the course of their investigation CHP Officers noticed the marijuana.
Deputies arrived on scene and initially locate about 300 lbs. of freshly harvested marijuana.As deputies were leaving the scene they noticed a tow truck pulling a tan Chevrolet truck from over the embankment near their location. The vehicle had fresh body damage and marijuana in the bed of the truck similar to the marijuana located on the embankment. Arrestee George Preston Daniels, age 50, was spotted in the brush by officers. Deputies knew that Daniels was on parole from prior contacts. Deputies also located a loaded sawed off rifle and vehicle keys. CHP responded and arrested Daniels. The total amount of marijuana located in the truck and on the embankment is roughly 800 lbs.Daniels was arrested by CHP and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional facility….Deputies suspect Daniels possibly just committed a marijuana robbery. If you are a victim of a marijuana robbery or home invasion, please contact the Sheriff’s Office…
Though we don’t believe anyone came forward to press charges on the alleged theft of marijuana, Daniels was facing other charges relating to the incident. He made bail but never showed up for his March 24, 2016 court date. It is believed he may have died around this time.
Karges from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office told us that nothing suspicious was discovered in Daniels remains to indicate foul play. However, she asked that anyone who may have seen Daniels around the end of March 2016, please contact her department at (707) 445-7251 so they can reconstruct what may have occurred.
- 800 Pounds of Freshly Harvested Marijuana Found by Hwy 36
- Growers, Did Someone Steal Your Harvest? The Sheriff’s Office Would Like to Talk to You…
- Suspect in Marijuana Robbery Fails to Show in Court; Bounty Hunters Are Looking for Him
- Human Remains Discovered in the River Near Stafford Sunday
- Unidentified Body Found in Eel River Possible Victim of Homicide