WILLITS, 11/23/20 — Two dead bodies have been found off Hulls Valley Road, north of Covelo according to Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Captain Greg Van Patten. The bodies remain as yet unidentified, and we do not have information as to the sex, age, or state of decomposition — however, law enforcement believe that this may be connected to the earlier disappearance and possible kidnapping of Kyle James McCartney, 34, and Traci Lynn Bland, 48, both of Covelo.
The pair were last seen Thursday, Nov. 19, when they were allegedly attacked, according to the reporting party. According to this person, the three had been attacked and the reporting party had managed to escape.
McCartney and Bland’s vehicle was later found abandoned. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office began investigating the situation as a missing persons case, with the possibility of kidnapping.
This afternoon an unconnected person found the bodies in a remote location in the rugged hills north of Covelo, and reported the discovery to authorities. Deputies and detectives remain on the scene and a positive identification has not been announced, potentially pending notification of next of kin, though given the remote location and difficulty in travel it may simply be a matter of logistics and transport.
Regardless of whether or not these bodies are connected to the earlier disappearance it appears that foul play was likely involved. If so these would likely be the fifth and sixth homicides in the county in the last two months. Mendocino County has already recorded substantially more than the average number of killings this year, and the year is not up.
Here is the original press release from the MCSO, it has not been updated with information about the bodies.
DATE: “November 23, 2020”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Incident Number: 2020-28445
Crime/Incident: Missing Persons, Suspicious Circumstances, Possible Kidnapping
Location: 24400 Block of Oak Lane, Covelo CA
Date of Incident: Thursday November 19, 2020
Time: 12:45 PM
Victim(s): Kyle James McCartney, 34 years of age, Covelo CA
Traci Lynn Bland, 48 years of age, Covelo CA
Suspect(s): Not Identified
Written By: Lieutenant Shannon Barney
Synopsis: 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.