VISALIA – The stepfather to a 14-year-old autistic boy was arrested for allegedly killing the teen and dumping the body in Sequoia National Park.
The Visalia Police Department arrested 32-year-old Miguel Angel Villegas Pacheco and booked him into Tulare County Jail.
Dameian “Luke” Gulley was reported missing on Nov. 18 after his school notified his parents that he had never shown up at school. His body was discovered just before dusk on Nov. 21 by a National Park employee walking in the area of Ash Mountain. The employee’s dog noticed the body partially covered by debree.
The FBI and the Visalia Police Department were notified about the body. Because it was late in the day, the area was sealed off so that it could be analyzed the following day. The body was positively identified as Gulley the next day by his mother and Pacheco.
“Due to the location of the body and the evidence on scene, we knew there was foul play at that time. As the investigation continued, it became apparent that Miguel Angel Villegas Pacheco was responsible for his death and he was subsequently arrested,” Visalia Police Chief Colleen Mestas said.
Police have not revealed what evidence links Pacheco to the crime. They also have not revealed in what state the body was found or how the teenager was killed.
Gulley lived with his mother, stepfather and two other children. His biological father was not a part of his life, Mestas said.
Police had been called to the home at least two times in the past for disturbance calls between Gulley and his stepfather, Mesas said.
“The Visalia Police Department could not have brought this case to culmination as quickly as we did without the direct assistance from the FBI and all of our law enforcement partners,” Mestas said.
FresnoBee: Visalia teen’s body found, stepfather arrested
SFGate: Central California man arrested in stepson’s death