On Tuesday evening, January 7, 2020, at about 10:05 p.m., Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) detectives from its Major Crimes Unit (MCU) arrested a man implicated in the homicide of Klamath River resident Spencer Richard Hodgson, found deceased on April 8, 2019 on a rural road in the Klamath River area of Siskiyou County. Mr. Timothy Shane McDonald, 22, of Yreka was arrested for murder and booked at the Siskiyou County Jail in Yreka.
Mr. Hodgson, 31, of Klamath River, was found deceased on April 8, 2019, in vicinity of Yreka Walker Road. Mr. Hodgson’s body was found in a ravine by responding SCSO deputies after a call was received from a private citizen at about 9:06 a.m., reporting a possible dead body at the location. Klamath River is a small, rural community located about 27.6 miles northwest of Yreka astride SR 96, near the Klamath River. The responding SCSO deputy arrived at the scene and confirmed the body was that of a deceased male adult, later identified as Mr. Hodgson. An extensive crime scene investigation was conducted by detectives and MCU’s forensic technician. Although Mr. Hodgson resided in the small community of Klamath River, he had previous long-term ties in the Santa Cruz, California area. Prior news releases disseminated in the Siskiyou County, Southern Oregon, and Santa Cruz regions of Oregon and California offered a “Secret Witness” reward, coupled with a donation, when combined in the case, meant up to a $50,000.00 reward was offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect(s) responsible for the murder of the victim in this case.
An autopsy was conducted on April 10, 2019 and the forensic pathologist and detectives confirmed the cause of death as gunshot wounds and the manner of death as homicide.
SCSO investigators were able to recover the victim’s missing pick-up truck, with the assistance of the California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) Northern Division Air Operations Unit. A CHP-piloted aircraft with the MCU’s detective sergeant as a passenger-observer, found the missing pick-up after an aerial search was conducted in the area. A dog owned by the victim was also found alive and well and was given to family members. The pick-up belonging to Mr. Hodgson is considered a source of important evidence in the case and its recovery has led to additional leads. Detectives previously interviewed a number of associates of the victim and family members. Search warrants were obtained and some potential evidence was recovered but leads dissipated over time. The reward was offered as an inducement for additional information in the case and additional news releases, soliciting the public’s help with the case were disseminated. Although the recent arrest was linked to information obtained by detectives arising from a recent SCSO news release on the case, it is unclear at this juncture what influence the reward had on the report that ultimately led to the follow-up investigation and later, the murder arrest. SCSO Detectives from the Siskiyou Unified Major Investigation Team (SUMIT) and Siskiyou Interagency Marijuana Investigation Team (SIMIT) assisted with the follow-up investigation; however, at this time there is no known link between Mr. Hodgson’s murder and illicit drug activity. After developing probable cause for the arrest, SCSO detectives received assistance and support from Siskiyou County District Attorney, Kirk Andrus. Assistance was also received from the Yreka Police Department.
Mr. McDonald will be arraigned within the next 48-hours in the Siskiyou County Superior Court on murder charges. His bail has been set at 1-million dollars.
According to Sheriff Jon Lopey, “Although the arrest of Mr. McDonald is a major development in this case, we still have work to do. 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.