UPDATE – Sunday 11/13/16 – 10:00am
The woman who sheriffs had feared was abducted, Amanda Weist, is now considered a suspect. The MSCO have issued a press release which can be read here:
UPDATE – Saturday 11/12/16 – 12:40pm
In the wake of a homicide in Laytonville yesterday afternoon Mendocino Sheriffs feared that a woman and her child, who were associated with the property on which the murder occurred, had been abducted. They issued a BOLO around 9:50pm. That woman has now been located. Her mother contacted the sheriff, explaining that she is with her family in the Bay Area, according to Lt. Shannon Barney of the MCSO. No suspects have been taken into custody.
The BOLO indicated they were driving a white Toyota Camry. The homicide seems to be marijuana related, and the Camry has out of state plates. Sources close to the homicide victim indicate that he was a cannabis farmer and about a 15 year resident of Mendocino. He is described as “friendly and helpful,” and a “magic maker.” The details of his death have not been made public.
A special California Department of Justice forensic team has been called in into to help with the processing of the crime scene, and DNA.
According to Barney the MCSO:
“received a call of a possible homicide off the back of the Hog Farm. The caller also thought that there may be a woman and child missing.” Barney said the caller “was associated with the property” and “discovered the body the morning after the incident and took a long time to walk out to get to a phone.” When officers arrived at the scene, they discovered “one male deceased and one female normally there was gone.” The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office then put out a BOLO because they were worried that the woman and her child may have been abducted, Barney explained. “Not too long into the investigation, we learned she was safe,” Barney said. “The female’s family said she is safe…[However,] We have not interviewed her….”For we all know she may have fled, or been abducted or even been a participant.”
Because it was raining so hard and the woman and child were safe, Lt. Barney said the decision was made to “lock the crime scene down” and finish up today. The Department of Justice criminalists and our detectives are investigating,” he explained saying he would not comment on the mode of death.
A source within the Mendocino Sheriff’s Office noted, “We haven’t firmly identified the victim yet, we think we know who he is.” He continued that no suspect is in custody, and that there are multiple suspects, about half of whom are unidentified.
He added, “Looks like a lot of out-of-the area folks who were up here for work — and nobody does paperwork, nobody knows anybody’s last name — so we’re just trying to chase that down.” Also noting that the vehicle is probably from out of state, and an exceedingly common make and model.
Concerning the California Department of Justice’s involvement the source said, “They have teams that they specifically train for this kind of stuff, they come out and help us on any big scene.”
As to the woman who they had feared had been abducted, he said “We want to talk to the woman as a witness first and foremost.”
Scanner traffic at around 9:50pm confirmed earlier rumors of a homicide, and possible abduction, that occurred near Laytonville earlier today. Police issued a BOLO (be on the lookout) for suspects in the homicide who were driving a white Toyota Camry. Police were advised to use caution, and it was noted that the suspects might have a knife.
The BOLO also described the car of a possible victim, a blue 2015 Volkswagen Golf with a sticker with two lightning bolts on the gas cap. The car belongs to a possible victim, a young woman, though the scanner traffic reported that it was unknown if an abduction “actually” occurred. The woman is a person of interest, a possible victim or witness to the homicide that occurred earlier today. A small boy was also listed as a possible victim of abduction.
Piecing together things from scanner archives and tips from sources we know that at around 3:50pm the local fire department sent out a page saying there was an 1144, or possible fatality. Sometime later, at around 4:40pm, a voice on the scanner called for emergency medical personnel who were on their way, to turn around because they were no longer needed.
The voice of a man on the scene can be heard speaking on scanner archives at about 4:45pm today saying, “It is obvious and we are sending medical back now. You can put in the call, that it was confirmed at 16:40 it was obvious.”