Posted on 14 May 2013.
Door-to-Door Searches Begin in Mattole
The search for wanted triple-homicide suspect Shane Miller continues.
As of last Friday, 70 law enforcement officers were in the Mattole Valley and Bureau of Land Management’s King Range Recreation area, also known as the Lost Coast, searching for Miller following their sixth day of an intensive manhunt. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office reported door-to door are being conducted in efforts for finding the alleged killer, according to the HCSO press release.
The area where Miller’s vehicle was located was searched extensively over the weekend, without results.
SWAT Teams from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office and the California Department of Corrections converged onto the scene last week in their search for the alleged killer Miller.
They were joined by a gaggle of law enforcement officers from the:
- Arcata Police
- Eureka Police
- Fortuna Police
- Rio Dell Police
- California Highway Patrol
- Bureau of Land Management
- California Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Helicopters from the California Highway Patrol and Kern County Sheriff’s Office
- …And a team of United States Marshals– along with a Specialized Communications Truck they brought along with them.
The King Range Conservation Area is 65,000 acres in size and has no paved roads. One of the most rugged and rural areas of Northern California, it’s located in the aptly-named Emerald Triangle, a region well known for its intensive marijuana cultivation, off-the-grid self-sufficiency, and equally independent citizens. Normally peaceful, quiet, and extremely private to the rule, the flavor of the bucolic area has changed as dozens of law enforcement have descended en masse into the Mattole Valley and the small town of Petrolia.
Officers are re-searching areas previously searched– and have been gradually expanding to additional areas outside the original scope. They’ve also checking numerous cabins and vehicles in the area.
There has been no sighting of Miller since his truck was located in the 30000 block of Mattole Road last week. He has seemingly vanished without a trace into the Lost Coast wilderness.
As of Friday, Mattole area residents were no longer being requested to shelter in place. They are, however, being advised to stay in at night and lock their doors. They are also requested to report any break-ins or other unusual activity immediately. Check points may continue.
The Mendocino Sheriff’s Office had a 12-member SWAT Team arriving yesterday assisting in the search for Miller. Officers will continue to search the King Range Conservation Area by foot with the assistance of helicopters today.
Ground search efforts were expanded to include door-to-door residential searches, the HCSO said. They emphasized enforcement actions during these door-to-door searches will be limited only to the apprehension of the triple homicide suspect, Shane Miller. They don’t want residents to be any more on edge than necessary and hope the necessary intrusions are minimal at best.
Area schools remain open with a law enforcement presence nearby. Fixed roadway check points (north and south) of the search area remain in place.
Twelve additional United States Marshals are expected to arrive at the search area today– complimented by the twelve Marshals currently in place.
A two-hour Community Meeting was held Sunday at the Petrolia Community Center, where Shasta County Sheriff’s Office and Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office representatives answered questions and addressed concerns from the community.
A second Community Meeting is scheduled at the Honeydew School for Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 5:00 pm.
Officers continue to work together in an attempt to uncover information that might lead to the location of Miller, the HCSO said in their press release.
“We are trying to gather intelligence from people in the area and we want to make sure people are safe, advise them of what’s going on, and find out if they have seen anything suspicious,” Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey said.
Residents hope Miller is soon caught and that law enforcement will depart as quickly as they arrived so their lives and livelihood can return to normal. No one knows when that will be– or if anyone will be hurt before that happens.
Additional information on the manhunt can be found in the Times-Standard article today, “Officials Update As Mattole Manhunt Enters Sixth Day“.
The HCSO would like to relay the following information:
“Anyone who witnesses any suspicious behavior or anything that appears to be out of the ordinary is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251, or 911 in an emergency.”