The local blogs have been saturated with comments connecting the shooting of a Rancho Sequoia man on Thanksgiving night with the discovery of human remains only 10 miles away and the disappearance of an Ocean Beach man earlier this year.
Authorities are continuing to investigate the case of a Southern Humboldt man who was shot and kidnapped on Thanksgiving night by eight armed men clad head to toe in heavy camouflage outfits. The victim, a 25-year-old Rancho Sequoia man, was shot in his shoulder and calf and had a possible graze wound to the temple, but was recovering at an out-of-the-area hospital, according to Humboldt County sheriff’s office Lt. Steve Knight, who added that authorities are still trying to piece together a motive for the attack.
The sheriff’s office received a call at about 3 a.m. Friday from two Indiana men, ages 24 and 29, who reported they had fled the Laytonville area after witnessing an armed attack at their friend’s Rancho Sequoia home.
According to a press release, the two men said they had been at the house at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday when they heard vehicles drive up to the residence, followed by the sound of male voices yelling and loud noises from inside the house. Then, according to the release, they heard multiple gunshots.
The two men said they went to investigate and were confronted by eight men wearing ghillie suits, camouflage outfits designed to resemble heavy foliage, and carrying high-powered rifles.
The armed assailants then tied the two Indiana men to a tree with a rope, according to the press release. The two captives said they then saw the eight men take their friend, who was bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds, into a truck at gunpoint and drive away.
The Indiana men told police they eventually untied themselves and fled without injury, according to the press release. At about 3:30 a.m. Friday, the sheriff’s office received a call from Jerold Phelps Community Hospital in Garberville reporting a 25-year-old man with multiple gunshot wounds. Responding deputies determined the man was the Rancho Sequoia homeowner.
Knight said detectives searched the home and found evidence to corroborate the story. No evidence indicated the assault was in any way drug-related, Knight said.
Rumors connecting this crime with the disappearance of Ocean Beach man, Garret Rodriguez earlier this year were unsubstantiated as of Friday morning.
The Humboldt County sheriff’s department is unable to confirm the two cases are related.
In a quote from Lost Coast Outpost, spokesman for the sheriff’s office Lt. Knight said, “It would be unprofessional and inappropriate at this time to comment. It is uncertain if there is any connection.”
Knight said they need more information from the coroner to identify the human remains found off of Jewett Ranch Road on Nov. 30. Sheriff’s deputies were told about the possible gravesite by a private citizen.
Anyone with information for the sheriff’s office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the sheriff’s office at 707-445-7251 or the sheriff’s office crime tip line at 707-268-2539.