No official link determined in Blue Lake homicides; The investigation continues


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The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office reports that investigators have not “officially determined a link” between the homicides of two men whose bodies were found a month apart in similar parts of Blue Lake, but say as the investigation continues.

The two men, according to the HCSO, were “known to live a transient lifestyle.”

On September 11, the body of Eugene Steven Segal, 65, from Blue Lake, who died of blunt trauma and stabbing, was found near Hatchery Road.

A month later, on October 10, the body of Levi Harold Hernandez Howard was found near a trail near Taylor Way and the Mad River Levee at Blue Lake. The 29-year-old’s death has also been determined to be a homicide, but the HCSO is not releasing details, citing the ongoing investigation, although some information on Segal’s cause of death has already been released.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Information Line at (707) 268-2539.

In response to questions from the public about using the trail system near Mad River Levee, the HCSO provided a series of general safety tips including don’t go alone, use well-traveled trails, let someone know about your plans, stay alert and turn around if you see someone or something that looks suspicious.

Read the HCSO press release below:

The purpose of this press release is to provide an update to the public regarding two inquiries into deaths in the Blue Lake area. Despite the proximity of these cases in terms of location and date of discovery, investigators have not officially determined a link between the two incidents as of yet. However, the cases are still under active investigation.

File number: 202104733

On September 11, 2021, a deceased man was found near a trail off Hatchery Road. The man has been identified as Eugene Steven Segal, 65. Segal was known to live a transient lifestyle in the Trinidad region. His death was considered a homicide.

File number: 202105261

On October 10, 2021, a deceased man was found near a trail off the Taylor Way near Mad River Levee. The man has been identified as 29-year-old Levi Harold Hernandez Howard. Howard was known to live a transient lifestyle in the Blue Lake area. His death was considered a homicide.

Autopsies were performed for the two victims, however, information on the cause of death is withheld pending investigation. Anyone who may have information on either of these cases should contact the Major Crimes Division of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Misdemeanor Information Line. from the Sheriff’s Office at (707) 268-2539.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous inquiries from members of the public regarding concerns about the safety and use of the trail system near Mad River Levee. Members of the public are encouraged to take regular safety precautions while at leisure anywhere in Humboldt County, including:

If possible, recreate during daylight hours and don’t go alone.

Choose a route well frequented by other recreationists.

If you see someone or something suspicious, change course and enter a store or public building to avoid the danger.

Stay alert at all times. If you listen to music while you walk, turn down the volume so you can still hear bike bells and warnings from other walkers and runners approaching behind you.

Stay on an established trail.

Do not hitchhike or accept trips from strangers.

Let a friend know where you are going and when you plan to return. Stick to this schedule and if you extend your stay, be sure to update this friend.

Put your phone away and don’t carry large sums of cash.

Consider taking a basic self-defense course.

If you encounter an emergency, dial 9-1-1.

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Wiley C. Thompson

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