WILLITS, 11/30/20 — The two bodies found last Monday along a remote road in the hills north of Covelo have been confirmed to be those of Kyle James McCartney, 34, and Traci Lynn Bland, 48, both of Covelo, who were reported missing the prior week. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office are investigating these deaths as homicides, though a specific cause of death has not been confirmed.
Here is our coverage from that evening:
And here is the press release from the MCSO, with some additional details around the investigation and autopsy:
DATE: “November 30, 2020”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Missing Persons, Suspicious Circumstances, Possible Kidnapping
24400 block of Oak Lane in Covelo CA
Date of Incident:
Kyle James McCartney (34 years-olf from Covelo, CA)
Traci Lynn Bland (48 years-old from Covelo, CA)
Written By: Lieutenant Shannon Barney
UPDATED PRESS RELEASE 11-30-2020:
On 11-23-2020 at approximately 3:30 PM a bystander located the bodies of two deceased persons along Hulls Valley Road in a remote area Northeast of Covelo’s valley floor.
Sheriff’s Detectives responded to the location and confirmed the existence of the two deceased bodies.
Due to pending darkness, the Sheriff’s Detectives processed the scene the following day with the assistance of the California Department of Justice Eureka crime lab and investigators with the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office.
On 11-27-2020 a forensic autopsy was performed on the bodies at which time they were identified as being Kyle James McCartney and Traci Lynn Bland.
An official cause of death for both individuals is pending at this time but Sheriff’s Detectives are investigating their deaths as being homicide related.
Sheriff’s Detectives are continuing investigations at this time and are working closely with the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office in identifying suspect(s) and potential charging/prosecution related to McCartney and Bland’s deaths.
No additional information is available for release at this time due to the Sheriff’s Detectives ongoing investigations.
Once additional information becomes available, it will be disseminated via Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office press release.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the following public safety agencies for their assistance in this ongoing investigation:
Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office, Round Valley Tribal Police Department, California Department of Justice Eureka crime lab and the California Department of Justice Santa Rosa crime lab.
ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE:
On 11/19/2020 around 12:46 hours the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from the 24400 Block of Oak Lane related to a reported assault and possible kidnapping of missing persons Kyle McCartney, 34 years of age, and Traci Bland, 48 years of age, both residents of the Covelo area. The reporting party was initially uncooperative but eventually related earlier that day he was taken to an address on Oak Lane by the two missing persons. When they arrived four unknown Hispanic or Native American suspects attacked and assaulted Kyle and Traci. The reporting party indicated he fled and the missing persons where possibly kidnapped and have not been seen since Thursday November 19th, after 12:45 PM. The reporting party thought they were taken from their property in their own vehicle. This vehicle, a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe (Gold colored) California License #7TZZ158, was later located, abandoned, near another address on Oak Lane. The vehicle had not been there when the Sheriff’s Office responded to that location after receiving the 911 call.
At this time the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office is investigating this missing persons incident as a possible kidnapping and assault as neither missing person has been seen since the November 19th incident. Anyone with information about this incident, the whereabouts of the two missing persons, or the specific movement of the the vehicle shown in the attached photograph to please contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office Investigations Unit is interested in the specific time frame of the vehicle movement between 12:45 PM and 3:00 PM on Thursday the 19th. The vehicle may have frequented the Mendocino Pass Road area as well as other areas in an around the Round Valley area. The Sheriff’s Office is looking to hear from anyone with specific information related to this case. If you have any information related to this case please call the Sheriff’s Office Communications line at 707-463-4086 or the Tip line at 707-234-2100.
Captain Gregory L. Van Patten #1184