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Detectives arrest suspect in unsolved Siskiyou County murder case

The Sheriff's Office has been seeking information in the murder of 31-year-old Spencer Hodgson since April of 2019.

Posted: Jan 8, 2020 10:46 AM
Updated: Jan 8, 2020 1:59 PM

YREKA, Calif. — Nine months after the discovery of 31-year-old Spencer Hodgson's body near the community of Klamath River, the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office says that it has made an arrest related to his murder.

Detectives arrested 22-year-old Timothy Chase McDonald of Yreka around 10 p.m. on Tuesday night. He was booked into the Siskiyou County Jail, charged with Hodgson's murder.

Someone reported finding Hodgson's body in a ravine near Yreka Walker Road in Klamath River on April 8 of 2019. Investigators later identified the body as Hodgson — a man who had been staying in Klamath River but had ties to the Santa Cruz area — and quickly labeled it a "suspicious death."

Within days, the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office declared it a homicide after an autopsy confirmed Hodgson had died of multiple gunshot wounds.

The investigation later led the Sheriff's Office to recover Hodgson's truck and his dog Pepper, but the trail to his murderer went cold.

"Detectives previously interviewed a number of associates of the victim and family members," the Sheriff's Office said in a statement. "Search warrants were obtained and some potential evidence was recovered but leads dissipated over time."

The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office later offered gradually increasing "Secret Witness" rewards for information that could lead them to Hodgson's killer — climbing to $50,000.

The Sheriff's Office said that new information came to their detectives thanks to their latest news release asking for information, but the agency said that it was "unclear" if the reward motivated the report that ultimately led them to McDonald's arrest.

Although Siskiyou County's black market marijuana investigation teams helped with the case, the Sheriff's Office said that there is "no known link" at this time between Hodgson's murder and illegal drug activity.

McDonald faces arraignment at the Siskiyou County Superior Court within the next 48 hours. His bail has been set at $1 million.

“Although the arrest of Mr. McDonald is a major development in this case, we still have work to do," said Sheriff Jon Lopey. "Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact a SCSO detective at (530) 842-8318 and refer to SCSO Case Number 1-19-0547.”

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