An almond orchard in California turned into a grisly scene January 25 after authorities say two women’s bodies were discovered, CBS Sacramento reported.
Deputies with the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office later arrested Martin Ehrke, 49, of Arbuckle, about 50 miles northwest of Sacramento, in connection with the alleged double homicide.
Here’s what we know so far:
1. A Caller Told Police of a Grisly Scene with Bloody Walls Where Two Women Were Missing
Colusa Sheriff’s Lt. Mark Contreras told CBS Sacramento that authorities first became aware of the gruesome scene from a call put through to the station January 25. The caller alleged to have been on the property belonging to Ehrke’s father, and described observing bloody walls in a residence where two women were missing from.
Authorities located Ehrke about 15 minutes from the crime scene in Colusa. After interviewing the suspect, police booked him on homicide charges.
The suspect’s Facebook page indicates that he was self-employed and attended Yuba College. He was fairly active with public posts on the site, and appeared to be fascinated with aliens and outer space.
2. One Body Was Found in a Pond, & the Other in a Freezer
“Upon the arrival of first responders, deputies were informed of a possible human body in a freezer located in an attached residence on the property,” a press released stated. “Deputies discovered evidence of a crime scene as well as a possible body inside a freezer.” The release continued:
…Upon service of the search warrant, detectives confirmed that an unidentified body had been placed inside a chest freezer inside a bedroom in an attached residence on the property.
According to the Reno Gazette Journal, the first body was that of a female and another woman’s body was found in a pond on the land.
3. The Women Are Thought to Have Lived on the Property ‘On & Off’
According to CBS Sacramento, the sheriff stated that the alleged victims “were currently known to be here, at this residence, staying on and off.”
Contreras added that the women were thought to have been killed “within 24 hours of their bodies being found,” the station reported.
4. Police Are Not Identifying the Bodies Pending Notification of Next of Kin
The Reno Gazette Journal reported that Ehrke’s father, whom they have not named, was home at the time authorities were investigating the scene.
Police have also withheld the names of the female victims until next of kin can be informed of their deaths.
5. The Crime Has Shaken the Small Community of 3,000 People, Though Police Say ‘There Is No Active Threat to the Public’
Arbuckle is a small community, and news of the crime has inevitably shaken the close-knit community.
“It’s going to be hard on this community for a while,” Contreras said, according to CBS Sacramento. “It’s a small community; everybody knows everybody.”
“Sheriff’s Department advises that they have taken a subject into custody regarding this morning’s homicide investigation,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement on their Facebook page. “There is no active threat to the public. Additional details will be released as the continuing investigation allows.”