NORTH COAST, Calif. – A man wanted in connection to a 2000 murder in the city of Ukiah has been arrested.
The Ukiah Police Department reported that Jerred Raymond Hernandez was arrested in Ensenada, Mexico on Sunday and booked into the San Diego County Jail for the August 2000 murder of 44-year-old Michael Williamson.
“We are extremely fortunate to have located and arrested Hernandez,” said Ukiah Police Chief Chris Dewey. “This was one of our department’s most lengthy and complex investigations and I am glad to bring into custody; a person we suspect of committing such horrific crimes.”
Ukiah Police reported that on Monday morning Det. Rick Pintane and Det. Sgt. David McQueary interviewed Hernandez in the San Diego County Jail, and arranged for his transportation back to Ukiah in connection with no-bail warrant charges of murder, arson of an inhabited structure, first-degree robbery and first degree burglary.
Williamson, who had been staying at his parents’ Carolyn Drive home while they were out of state on vacation, was found dead after firefighters responded to a reported fire within the home just after 7 a.m. Aug. 2, 2000, according to police.
Police said the fire, which started in the home’s hallway, was believed to be started in an attempt to disguise the murder of Williamson.
Based on the investigation conducted by the Ukiah Police Department, a federal arrest warrant was issued in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California on Aug. 9, 2000, after investigators determined that Hernandez fled Ukiah, and a no-bail felony arrest warrant issued in Mendocino County for his arrest on Aug. 11, 2000, the agency reported.
The Mendocino County no-bail warrant was issued while working with the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office, charging Hernandez with suspicion of murder, arson of an inhabited structure, first-degree robbery and first degree burglary, police said.
Williamson, who was in recovery for drug addition, was trying to mentor other addicts including Jerred Hernandez. Investigators determined that Williamson died from severe blunt trauma to his head. Police said jewelry, credit cards and personal checks belonging to his parents were also stolen from the home.
Since August of 2000 the Ukiah Police Department has been attempting to locate and arrest Hernandez for these crimes. In 2010, Pintane, who helped with the initial investigation, was assigned as the lead detective in this case, the agency reported.
In 2012, Pintane obtained the assistance of the television show “America’s Most Wanted” to highlight the investigation and help seek leads from the public to help find Hernandez and bring him into custody.
Ukiah Police Department investigators have worked extensively with the Santa Rosa FBI Field Office, Sonoma County District Attorney Investigators, Mendocino County District Attorney Investigators, FBI San Francisco, Toronto Police Department, Michigan State Police Department, Burbank Police Department, and the Los Angeles Police Department in our attempt to locate Hernandez.
Hernandez’s arrest is the result of a joint collaboration by the Ukiah Police Department; FBI San Francisco; FBI San Diego and the Border Liaison Program; FBI Legal Attaché Mexico City; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of California; and Policia Estatal Preventiva, Baja California State Police.
The Ukiah Police Department thanked all of the agencies who offered their assistance and resources to the investigation, giving special thanks to Santa Rosa FBI Supervisor Dale Dutton and Sonoma County District Attorney Investigator John McCutcheon for their tireless assistance in this investigation.
“We are extremely grateful of our partner agencies, especially the FBI and Mexico authorities that shared their information and limited resources to assist our department,” said Chief Dewey. “Our department is extremely lucky to have so many experienced and dedicated personnel. The department’s lead investigator, Rick Pintane, and the other detectives worked tirelessly on this investigation to bring Hernandez into custody to face these serious charges. As a police chief, I can’t be prouder of our department’s personnel and their commitment to make Ukiah safe.”
Anyone who observed, or has information about this investigation is asked to contact the Ukiah Police Department Detective Bureau at 707-463-6262.