Updated Monday with information regarding suspect's arrest
Update on Monday afternoon, April 23, 2018:
The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office reported that it arrested Mike Hernandez III without incident Monday morning, April 23, in a rural area southeast of Greenhorn Park in Yreka. A female companion with Hernandez at the time of his arrest was detained, pending further investigation, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Jon Lopey states in a news release that Hernandez is in Siskiyou Count Jail and is expected to be arraigned in Siskiyou County Superior Court within the next 48 hours for the murder “and related crimes perpetrated against the elder victim.” Lopey thanks “all of the state and local law enforcement agencies that assisted us with this investigation and subsequent search for the suspect and stolen vehicle” and urges anyone with information about the crime to contact the Sheriff’s Office 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900.
Article posted Sunday evening, April 22, 2018:
The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a 43-year Dunsmuir man who is wanted in connection with a homicide investigation.
The Sheriff’s Office says Mike Hernandez III was last known to be in the Yreka City area as of Saturday evening, April 21, 2018. He should be considered armed and dangerous, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.
Anyone with information is asked to call 9-1-1 or the Siskiyou Sheriff Dispatch at 530-841-2900.
The Sheriff’s Office states in its release that it has developed probable cause to arrest Hernandez for the homicide of 66 year old Kenneth Ray Jones of Dunsmuir.
Following is the Sheriff’s Office news release that was distributed today, April 22:
“On Saturday, April 21, 2018, at about 2:32 p.m., Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) deputies responded to a residence located in the 6400 block of Dunsmuir Avenue in Dunsmuir in response to a call of a woman expressing concern for her personal safety due to the actions of a family member.
“When a SCSO deputy and sergeant arrived at the residence, the man identified as the reporting party’s son and suspect in the original report to authorities was not at the residence. Further information developed at the scene revealed another resident of the home could be endangered and when a welfare check was conducted to determine his condition, he was found deceased in a room he occupied at the residence.
“Evidence at the scene indicated the death of the deceased male was a possible homicide and a person of interest was identified as Mr. Mike Hernandez III, 43 years-old, of Dunsmuir. Mr. Hernandez was not located in the area but the homicide victim’s Chevrolet Astro Van was missing from the residence. A stolen report was taken and a notice to all regional law enforcement agencies was broadcast to be on the lookout for Hernandez and the stolen van.
“The SCSO’s Major Crimes’ Unit (MCU) responded to the scene and detectives and the MCU Forensics Technician conducted an extensive crime scene investigation at the home where the homicide is suspected to have taken place.
“The broadcast to regional agencies paid off shortly afterwards when the Yreka Police Department (YPD) located the stolen van in the vicinity of Moon Lit Oaks Drive and South Main Street in Yreka at about 10:30 p.m. The van was unoccupied and an extensive road and ground search of the area by YPD, SCSO, and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) failed to locate Mr. Hernandez.
“A follow-up investigation by the SCSO’s MCU and field units assigned to the SCSO’s Dunsmuir Substation developed probable cause to arrest Mr. Hernandez for the homicide of the victim, later identified as Mr. Kenneth Ray Jones, 66, of Dunsmuir.
“As of Sunday, April 22, 2018, at 3:15 p.m., SCSO detectives and deputies were developing leads on the whereabouts of the suspect, Mr. Hernandez, but he is still outstanding, but it is suspected he is still in the local area.
“Sheriff Jon Lopey stated, ‘We would like to offer our sincere condolences and prayers to the victim, his family and friends in the aftermath of his tragic death. We urge anyone with information about this crime to contact the SCSO’s 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900. If anyone observes Mr. Hernandez, he should not be contacted but dial 9-1-1 and report the observation to law enforcement authorities. Mr. Hernandez is 43, is described as 5 feet, 9 inches in height, weighing 195 pounds, with black, short hair and he has brown eyes. Hernandez should be considered dangerous and he may be armed.’”