Benefit Set to Aid Family
By Patric Hedlund
She reads your water meters in Frazier Park; he delivers your propane. Cheryl and Woody Mackey are familiar faces on this mountain. They have lived in Frazier Park for nearly 15 years. Last week, local friends clustered around them, cooking food, staying with them through the night— and helped them prepare to bury their daughter.
According to Bakersfield Police Department and Kern County Coroner’s reports, Amber Kelch, 33 was shot to death in her bed at her Millay Way home in Bakersfield on Tuesday, April 27. She was found by her 16-year-old son. Two men have been arrested. They are allegedly gang members, and theft of rifles is a motive mentioned by BPD.
In the face of tragedy, the Mountain Community is planning a benefit to help the family with expenses. Sue Nichols is throwing Sue’s Tavern open to an event on Saturday, May 8 from 1-4 p.m. (3440 Mt Pinos Way in Frazier Park; 245-1100).
Friends, neighbors and community members are welcome to come to share food and pass the hat.
The funeral was held on Monday, May 3 at Basham Funeral Home in Bakersfield.
The first man who was arrested Friday, April 30 is said to be called “Monster” on the street, according to a Mackey family friend. He is Adolf Thomas Casica, 29. A second arrest was made on Saturday May 1. Pablo Salas, 35 was found on the 2700 block of Arnold Street, Bakersfield.
The two were arrested with charges of murder, conspiracy, assault with a deadly weapon, participation in a criminal street gang, assorted weapons charges and violation of parole.
Both Casica and Salas were known to Kelch, according to BPD sources. The motive for her murder, they said, appears to have been robbery. Investigators are still searching for two AR-15 rifles which were taken from the residence during that robbery. Anyone with information related to the offense is encouraged to call Detective Jim Moore at 326-3567.
Reports from BPD say that early in the investigation detectives suspected Casica’s involvement in the murder:
“Once they were able to determine the locations frequented by Casica, investigators saturated the area in an attempt to locate him. Detective Will McNeal spotted Casica riding a bicycle south on South P Street from Brundage Lane.
“When Detective McNeal tried to contact him, Casica continued riding the bike into the apartment complex at 720 Terrace Way in an attempt to get away. He then discarded the bike and tried to run but was apprehended.”
Investigators made contact at two locations Casica was known to frequent, 625 Brundage Lane and 710 Brundage Lane #72 in an attempt to secure the residences for the purpose of executing search warrants for evidence related to the murder, BPD said, adding:
“Upon making contact at the Brundage Lane locations, multiple subjects at each location were detained. Ultimately two of the subjects were arrested for charges unrelated to the murder.” The two detainees are identified as Jonathan Vinson, 24, arrested for possession of narcotics, resisting arrest and violation of parole. Ricky Jasper Garcia-Villafranco, 32 was arrested for public intoxication.
BPD says the investigation is continuing.
This is part of the May 07, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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