Mendocino County: Two Arrested in Connection with Human Remains Found in Burning Vehicle
Above: Stock Image
The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has arrested two individuals in connection with a recent investigation into human remains found in a burning vehicle.
Authorities in Covelo had responded on October 31 to a vehicle fire on a private parcel at the end of Refuse Road. After the fire was extinguished, authorities discovered severely burned human remains in the rear of the vehicle. One license plate on the vehicle survived the fire intact, allowing Sheriff’s detectives to identify the registered owner.
The Sheriff’s Office sought assistance from professors at Chico State University’s Forensic Anthropology Department to aid in the recovery and identification of the remains.
Around the same time, a man reported his adult son as a possible missing person. The man’s son happened to be the registered owner of the burned vehicle.
Detectives eventually learned that the missing person had been working on an illegal cannabis farm at a residence on the 23000 block of Hopper Lane in Covelo. Upon investigation of the missing person’s living quarters near the cannabis grow, detectives reportedly discovered what appeared to be a crime scene.
Joaquin was arrested on unrelated drug charges and parole violation when he arrived at the location, while Hoaglen left before being identified as a suspect. Investigators established probable cause connecting both individuals to the missing man’s death, resulting in the issuance of warrants for both Joaquin and Hoaglen.
Joaquin, already in custody at the Mendocino County jail, reportedly now faces a murder charge.
On November 7, with the assistance of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Lake and Mendocino Multi-Agency Regional SWAT team, Hoaglen was arrested at a residence in Clearlake. He was booked at the Mendocino County jail.
It was unclear at press time whether either individual had retained an attorney. The remains found in the vehicle have not yet been positively identified.