Updated: Unsolved Deaths & Disappearances on the Mendo Coast

by Tim Stelloh, April 19, 2010

Though lightly populated and scenic as a Kinkade painting, the Mendo Coast is–at times, anyway–as sinister, violent and lawless as the rest of this county. Below is an index of unsolved deaths, attempted murders, disappearances and questionable classifications from the coast (and connected to the coast)–along with links to AVA coverage and websites with relevant info.

Jeanne Huckins

Huckins, 63, was found dead in the garage of her Fort Bragg home in January 2010–the victim of a gunshot wound. Though her death was officially labeled suicide, police now say they’re awaiting new evidence from the Department of Justice and that they recently received “good information” from Huckins’ friends, who have doubted the suicide classification.

Click here to read our coverage of her death.

Michael Peacock

Michael Peacock, brother of convicted Westport shooter Richard Peacock, worked for ex-GOP chairman Ken Rogers growing pot on the latter’s Westport property; Peacock testified against the former chairman last year during Rogers’ trial for attempted murder and conspiracy. Peacock was found murdered in his Placer County trailer shortly after Rogers’ conviction. Placer County police have said there’s no Mendo connection to his death, but they’re yet to make an arrest.

To read our coverage of the Peacock killing, click here. For our Rogers coverage, click here.

Katlyn Long

Long, 22, died of a methadone overdose in the basement of her parent’s home near Fort Bragg in May 2008. Her ex-boyfriend was with her at the time of her death, but he’s yet to give detectives an interview. Police forwarded the case to the DA’s office but no one has been charged.

Click here to read our coverage of the case, or here for a website devoted to Long’s memory.

Michele Schlick-Harris

Fifty-two-year-old Schlick-Harris, a recent Fort Bragg transplant, went missing on New Years Eve, 2007.  She was last seen at the Surfwood in Mendo, and her car was found at the Caspar Inn.

Victoria Horstman

Horstman grew up around Fort Bragg and was heavily involved with police efforts in the mid-90s to lock up her husband, John Dalton, for growing pot. Her body was found floating in the Clark Fork River in Missoula, Montana three years ago. There were no signs of injury, and the medical examiner classified her death as “undetermined.”

To read our coverage of Horstman–and John Dalton–click here.

David Neily & Donald Cavanaugh

Neily and Cavanaugh were last seen in 2005 and 2006 on James Denoyer’s Westport property–the same property where, in 2005, dozens of emaciated, starving horses were seized by animal control.

Click here to read our coverage of the case, or here for a Facebook page maintained by Neily’s daughter.

Kathy LaMadrid

LaMadrid was last seen by her brother in Fort Bragg in 2004. Though detectives investigated numerous leads, she’s never been found.

Click here to read our coverage of LaMadrid’s disappearance, or here for a website for anyone with info on her possible whereabouts.

Ken Rick

Rick, who was involved in the burning of Fort Bragg’s library and court–along with the Piedmont Hotel–in September 1987–was found dead the day before he was scheduled to testify to a federal grand jury in San Francisco. The police said he’d placed a shotgun between his legs and pulled the trigger with his toe; the evidence suggested otherwise.

To read our comprehensive account of the Fort Bragg Fires, buy our book, Mendocino Noir, here. Or, for the Cliff Notes version, click here.

Clyde Donald Stanley

Stanley’s remains were found under a refrigerator near Blues Beach in March 1988. He’d been killed by multiple gunshots. Stanley, who was from Fort Bragg, was last seen a year prior in Willits.

Judi Bari

Need I say more? Click here for our Bari file.

Georgina Pacheco 

Pacheco was found strangled to death in September 1988 on Pearl Drive in Fort Bragg. She was 20.

Click here to  read our coverage of her murder.

UPDATE: On July 16, 2013, Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman Identified a commercial fisherman, Robert James Parks, as Pacheco’s killer. Parks committed suicide in 1998. 

Kristi Krebs

Krebs, 23, disappeared in 1993 after leaving Round Table Pizza on Highway 1. Her truck was found near MacKerricher State Park not long after, but she hasn’t been seen since.

Click here for more details.

***

Did we miss someone? Email webeditor@theava.com.

One Response to Updated: Unsolved Deaths & Disappearances on the Mendo Coast

  1. Lauren Housley Reply

    April 14, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    …and people wonder why Aaron Vargas took the law into his own hands. It will be two years since Katlyn Long died and we are still waiting for Garett Matson to be interviewed by the sheriff’s office. I would love to have him charged in her death but at least question him. He was with her when she died and there were numerous suspicious acts that make him look very guilty. But we are afraid of hurting the case and have been fairly silent. Phone calls, text messages, photos, disappearing phones and other evidence that I would love to have made public but we wait and hope that the District Attorney will move on this case.

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