TWO MEN wanted on charges that they kidnapped and raped a 14-year-old girl who managed a daring escape two years ago in Boonville will be featured on "America's Most Wanted" television show this Saturday night (September 25th). Mendocino County Sheriff's Detective Andy Whiteaker will return to the show's Washington DC headquarters to field calls on its anonymous tip line. "We believe they're both in Mexico in a couple of small towns, and we're hoping to get a fix on that," Whiteaker said. "That's what we're hoping to get out of the show." Jose Lopez Garibay, now 31, and Julio Rengal Ceja, now 20, both appear on the "County's Most Wanted" page of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office website, www.mendocinosheriff.com. They are wanted for rape and kidnapping in a July 26, 2008 incident that started at a party involving high school students and alcohol behind the Anderson Valley Health Clinic. The 14-year-old girl was there with a friend and needed a ride home from Ceja, who was dating her older sister, according to Whiteaker. According to a write-up on the "America's Most Wanted" website, www.amw.com/fugitives, Ceja and Garibay invited her "to go cruising around Boonville," and she got into Garibay's pickup truck "anticipating a joyride." The teen told authorities the men had been drinking when they allegedly took her to Hendy Woods off of Philo Greenwood Road, where one man held her down and the other man raped her. They then took the girl to a heavily wooded area on Peachland Road near a vineyard where Garibay worked at the top of a ridge and allegedly raped her again, switching positions, and allegedly "talked about killing her there," according to Whiteaker. The men drove to Anderson Valley Elementary School on Anderson Valley Road, near Highway 128, where Ceja's car was parked and dropped him off there. Garibay drove the girl back up Peachland Road, where he allegedly planned to drown her in a creek that ran through a ravine in the area. The girl kicked out the back window of Garibay's truck, grabbed the truck's steering wheel and steered it into a ditch, then climbed through the back window and found a broken bottle among the litter of beer bottles in the truck bed. She cut Garibay's abdomen and neck with the broken glass when he tried to grab her and ran to freedom, hiking five miles through the woods and along Highway 128 to a friend's house, according to Whiteaker. Garibay's description on the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office website says he could have "Garibay" tattooed on his back and had a "deep laceration to right side of stomach and right side of face or neck." "A 14-year-old girl pulled this off," Whiteaker said. "That's why we pushed so hard for this (show); she deserves justice after all she endured in this incident." The two men and their families left the Boonville area shortly after the incident, he said. Garibay is described as 5 feet, 7 inches tall, weighing 150 pounds with brown eyes and hair; Ceja is described as 5 feet, 5 inches tall, weighing 150 pounds with brown eyes and hair. Ceja was a known Norteño gang member, but the crime didn't appear to be gang-related, he said. Both men were considered armed and dangerous, according to the MCSO website. Whiteaker said he had been talking to producers at "America's Most Wanted" about featuring the case for about the past year. He was at the show's Washington DC studios, housed in the National Museum of Crime and Punishment, for filming this week. "Filming wrapped up Wednesday night," he said. Anyone with information about the possible whereabouts of Ceja and Garibay is urged to call the MCSO tip line at 467-9159. Callers can remain anonymous. — Tiffany Revelle (Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
THE COMMUNITY ACTION COALITION announced last week that they will host a local forum on Proposition 19, the November ballot measure which would semi-legalize of marijuana. The “informational forum” will be October 19th at 6:30pm at a location to be announced. Bring your own roach clips.
BIG FOOTBALL GAME at the Boonville Fairgrounds this Friday night as the Boonville High School Panthers, led by their fleet-footed back Michael Blackburn and hard-hitting Omar Benevides, take on small school powerhouse, Tomales. Kick-off at 6pm.
JACOB GOWAN, a freshman at Stanford, saw a lot of playing time in the fourth quarter in the Stanford versus UCLA game last weekend. Jacob is third man behind a couple of upper classmen at defensive tackle and defensive end, and maybe he got strong enough to hold his own with these very large young men by tossing hay bales around at the family ranch, Philo.
THAT WAS the Fire Department's fair booth the little guy's football program left in a mess, not the Anderson Valley Ambulance's booth. But everything, even your community newspaper, got straightened out to everyone's satisfaction.
FORMER Anderson Valley Schools Trustee Michael Addison and his wife Susan are moving to Ojai, as rumors persist that they're having trouble selling their home on Anderson Valley Way because water to the property has been fouled by the Elementary School next door. Well, not the school, but ancient fuel leaks from the bus barn into the shared water table.
THE CASE against Thomas Plowright III was delayed again last week in Ukiah Superior Court. Mr. Plowright is the man who was arrested during a CHP-led raid on Nash Mill Road outside of Philo a few months ago when authorities learned that construction equipment stolen in the San Jose area was at the Plowright place on Nash Mill. A purloined tractor had gotten stuck in a sensitive area of Mill Creek, damaging the stream bed, thus prompting huge outrage from many neighbors and general outrage in a valley whose streams are under constant attack from a variety of destructive forces. Mr. Plowright has been charged with 21 counts so far, all but one of which are felonies. The only misdemeanor is the Fish and Game violation of damaging Little Mill Creek. The other 20 counts are methamphetamine-related, felon in possession of a firearm/ammunition, possession of fireworks, and receiving stolen property, i.e., several pieces construction equipment. Mr. Plowright is already on probation for various drug offenses out of the South Bay where he seems to make his primary residence. Mr. P's next court appearance is scheduled for November 9th.
KATHY BORST sends along a letter from Leah Collins, daughter of Philo's JR and Jeanne Collins. Leah presently resides in Addis Ababa where she is a volunteer at a Mother Teresa hospital: "Hello everyone! It's very hard to know what to say in an update, but I am doing well and love being here in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The work I am doing is very difficult, and the suffering is so immense and difficult to explain. It's tough to realize how intense it all is because I am so in it, all wrapped up as it is all right outside my door. But being here, engaging and making friends with patients and volunteers has been very special. The Ethiopian people are some of the friendliest and kindest people I have ever met. Both inside and outside of the Mission of Charities compound people say hello, shake hands, and smile; they are welcoming and sweet. My days are long, but it is nice because we are able to switch up where we volunteer and have relative freedom to be or do whatever we want. Lately, I have been doing wound dressing with the men because, medically, it's what is very interesting to me. Everyday I think: it can't get more awful or sad than this. But everyday something comes out from under that blanket or that bandage that makes my eyes pop and head turn. Then I breathe, smile, and do my best to dress the wound, bedsore, tumor, or whatever else. Also, we can be with women, orphans, handicapped or mentally disabled kids, and babies. I like to mix up my time between all the kids and the men. I spent a few days initially with the women, but after two died I just thought I would take a break. The kids are so incredible; they starve for love, attention, and human contact. They just cling to you, even the babies who are all given absolute minimal attention. I like to go in the afternoons and help feed and clean them because the disabled or mentally ill kids can't feed themselves. But they get so excited when you touch, tickle, play, sing or talk to them. There are a lot of kids and babies with Down’s Syndrome, autism, or severe mental and physical problems. So many require physiotherapy and stretching, although for most I fear it is too little too late. Addis is very cold and rainy, although people say that will be ending soon. I envision possibly travelling to other MC compounds in Ethiopia to travel and change things up a bit. The volunteers here are from all over, so we have very fun, festive, and multilingual meal times. We eat well, and my stomach has been great; it never fails me when I travel. (Thanks mom and dad for healthy genes!) I also have time to read, journal, reflect, breathe, and meditate which is extremely important in this kind of work. Also I attend mass and/or adoration to keep up routine, relationships with the sisters, and pray, as hope and faith here is essentially a requirement. Today I worked in the outpatient clinic where people from outside the compound come in for once or twice a week treatment. There were lines of people with really intense wounds that we clean and wrap and send back out; the hard thing is lack of shoes, socks, and showers that makes wounds heal very slowly. I am realizing more and more though that, medically, not much is done here because that takes money. It is more about giving people love, touching them, and making them feel human and valued. I hope that this email does not come off as a downer at all because the spirits and faces of even the sickest of people here is truly beautiful. I am glad to be a part of an attempt to bring comfort to those in need. So far, this week has made me exceedingly thankful for my health, education, and love in my life. Peace and Love, Leah. PS. Here we lack so many medical supplies for patients and toys for children. The babies sit around and play with wrappers alone. it's unfathomable and so sad, but anyway my mom will be organizing gathering money and things to send over to us here. If you would like to help out, I would be grateful. So get in touch with her regarding this. (Jeanne Collins: 707-972-3765). Thanks."
DEEP VALLEY CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES. The Alexander String Quartet will return to Ukiah on Saturday, October 2 to open the Deep Valley Chamber Music Series’ third season. The concert will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Ukiah at 514 West Church Street, beginning at 7:30pm. The Alexander Quartet is approaching its 30th year as an ensemble. The program will include works by Mozart, Bartók, and Dvorák. Tickets may be purchased at the Mendocino Book Company and at the door. For further information, call 462-7946.
THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE reports that Mendocino and Sonoma County authorities seized marijuana, guns and cash Tuesday after searching the home of a Boonville man who allegedly sold the marijuana to out-of-state customers in both counties, according to Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force Commander Bob Nishiyama. Agents with the Task Force and a Sonoma County narcotics task force served a search warrant on the home of Kelvin Lowell Wells, 51, and seized 30 full-grown marijuana plants, 90 starter plants and about $39,000 in cash. Wells, who lived on a dirt road off of Mountain House Road and scion of the Wells Dental Lab in Comptche, allegedly surrounded his home with electric fencing and had cameras watching a security gate and monitoring the road around the clock, according to Nishiyama. Agents also found five or six rifles and four or five pistols in a safe, one of which was a Thompson machine gun replica assault rifle, he said. Nishiyama said Sonoma County agents had information that Wells had been selling marijuana, and the investigation began a few weeks ago. Wells was arrested in his vehicle about 100 yards outside his gate on suspicion of cultivating marijuana, possessing marijuana for sale, possessing a firearm in the commission of a felony and possessing an assault weapon. Agents found six pounds of processed marijuana and another pistol in Wells' car and at least two more pounds of processed marijuana in his safe. Nishiyama estimated six to eight pounds of marijuana buds remained to be harvested from the indoor grow. Wells allegedly admitted he sold the marijuana after initially claiming he grew it for medical reasons but had lost his documentation, according to Nishiyama.
ANYBODY SEEN Baxter? "Baxter looks like a big beagle, but he's a ten-year-old male walker coon hound, very friendly" who has been missing from his Whipple Ridge home for 17 days now. Baxter's got "what looks like a big white crescent moon on his black back and freckles on his chest." Please call 895-3016 if you've got him or know where he is.
IN THAT SAME neighborhood, deputy Craig Walker's dogs also went missing for a couple of days. Both returned.
THIS JUST IN: Trivial Pursuit returns to Lauren's, 7pm, tomorrow night, which is Thursday the 23rd.
THE ANDERSON VALLEY FOOD BANK Needs a New Refrigerator. Our 1980s refrigerator that has kept Food Bank perishables cold for many years is finally worn out. It is the old-fashioned kind that needs defrosting, and when the door is left even slightly ajar (which does happen now and then) the frost builds up in incredible amounts. If anyone has a newer model that they are replacing, the food bank could put your old one to good use. Please call Jill Myers at 895-3887 if you have a possible donation. We also need volunteers to help us bag and give out the food, both donated and purchased, at our once a month distribution: the third Tuesday of each month. Again, call Jill Myers at the above number if you can help.