It’s been almost seven months since Zachary Cordell Harrison allegedly shot and killed Robert James Holtsclaw in Alderpoint and Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office still seeks him and considers him armed and dangerous.
Deputies have been saturating the Alderpoint, Rancho Sequoia, Blocksburg and Harris communities over the recent weeks to smoke the 27-year-old murder suspect out of hiding.
“As of right now, we have dedicated a minimum of two two-man units,” Humboldt County Drug Task Force Lt. Bryan Quenell said Friday.
He said it’s a tight knit, rural community which has made it hard to locate Harrison.
“If you want to hide out, it’s a good area to be,” Quenell said.
According to a series of Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office news releases from March 27 to April 6, while investigating the whereabouts of Harrison deputies have arrested eight people for warrants or on fresh offenses.
“There’s indication that some of these subjects harbored and aided him,” Quenell said.
“Until he’s safely brought into custody we will stay out there,” he added.
Now the sheriff’s office is reaching out to the federal government for assistance apprehending Harrison who Quenell considers armed and dangerous.
According to a release, deputies saw Harrison on April 4 while arresting 30-year-old Chadwick Leland Allender, a known associate of Harrison, in the Rancho Sequoia area and attempted to contact him but he absconded into a heavily wooded area.
“We keep seeing Mr. Harrison; he keeps eluding us,” Quenell said.
“Rancho Sequoia is called ‘Murder Mountain.’ That’s what the locals call it,” he said that nickname for the area predates his time with the sheriff’s office.
K-9 officers from Eureka and Fortuna police departments responded to assist with the search, which lasted through the night, but were unable to locate him, according to a release.
“The law enforcement agencies in Humboldt County, we have a great working relationship,” Quenell said.
Aside from Eureka and Fortuna police, the sheriff’s office has also been assisted by California Highway Patrol officers and Trinity County Sheriff’s Office deputies who are keeping an eye out for Harrison across the county line. Community members have also assisted with tips, Quenell said.
“We have been getting quite a bit of help from the community. We appreciate everyone who phoned in,” he said.
Quenell said the sheriff’s office hasn’t given up its dogged pursuit of Harrison because of the seriousness of the crime he’s accused of and the credible leads they have.
“We want the public to know we don’t let homicide suspects go free without some action for the sheriff’s office,” he said.
Quenell said Harrison’s appearance hasn’t changed much from the 2016 mugshot the sheriff’s office sent out in September 2017.
According to Humboldt County Courthouse records, this isn’t Harrison’s first run-in with the law. Aside from traffic violations, he was fined and sentenced to probation for a felony assault charge in 2013.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office asks people with information about Harrison’s whereabouts to call them at 707-445-7251 or the crime tip line at 707-268-2539.
Hunter Cresswell can be reached at 707-441-0506.