Tuesday, 21 May 2024

REGIONAL: Body of man found in burned home identified

The body of Donald Scott Williams, 38, of Red Bluff was found in a burned residence on County Road 25 in Orland, Calif., on Sunday, April 4, 2010. Photo courtesy of the Glenn County Sheriff's Office.



GLENN COUNTY, Calif. – A man whose body was found earlier this week in a burned out residence owned by a Glenn County supervisor has been identified, and he appears to have been the victim of foul play.

Donald Scott Williams, 38, of Red Bluff was identified Thursday following an autopsy that had to use dental x-rays to confirm the identify of his burned body, according to Glenn County Sheriff Larry Jones.

Authorities found Williams' body last Sunday in the rubble of an uninhabited residence that's owned by Glenn County Supervisor Leigh McDaniel. The home is located on a farming property that McDaniel owns near Orland.

The home burned Sunday evening, and Jones said the fire is being investigated by the Glenn County Arson/Bomb Task Force.

McDaniel, who is not believed to be involved in any way with the incident, told investigators previously that he had left the residence uninhabited, and that it was burglarized two years ago for its copper plumbing and wiring.

Det. Kelly Knight of the Glenn County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit attended the autopsy, conducted by forensic pathologist Dr. Thomas Resk, Jones reported. Knight had obtained Williams' dental x-rays – he was suspected of being the victim – and gave them to forensic odontologist Dr. Robert Kearby, who was able to identify Williams.

Jones said the autopsy's preliminary results confirmed investigators' original assumptions that Williams died at the hands of another.

In order to protect the integrity of the investigation, Jones said his office won't release the means by which Williams was killed, or any further details regarding the death itself, at this time.

Sheriff’s detectives notified Williams' next of kin, including an 18-year-old daughter who resides with Williams' former spouse. Williams' parents resident outside of California and in separate states, but Jones said William's mother came to Glenn County and met with investigators in Willows on Friday morning.

Williams was released from state prison to supervised parole on Dec. 2, 2009. Jones said Williams was on active California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation parole at the time of his death, and listed his address as Red Bluff at the time of his last booking into the Glenn County Jail, which was on December 20, 2007, Jones said.

The state parole officer assigned to Williams – who was known to frequent the Orland area – also been notified of his death, according to Jones.

Jones said the investigation is continuing, and investigators were back at the scene on Thursday, along with fire investigators, to gather further evidence.

Authorities are still trying to locate a vehicle belonging to Williams, a red 1995 Geo with California license plates with the number 5AZB659, Jones said.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of this vehicle, or who has any information regarding the death of Williams, is asked to call Det. Kelly Knight or Sgt. Sean Arlin at 707-934-6431, or the Sheriff’s Secret Witness number at 707-934-6627.

Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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