Newspaper of the Central Coast
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Saturday & Sunday, April 24-25, 1999
‘I can only tell you I feel much better today.’ — San Luis Obispo Police Capt. Bart Topham, commenting about community safety
Remains found in canyon Police say both students are dead; prime suspect in jail ——————————————————
Search for second victim continues today near Avila ——————————————————
San Luis Obispo ————————— By Mike Stover and David Sneed The Tribune
helped ease the terror of Police uncertainty that has gripped
Rex Allan Krebs Age: 33 Height: 5 feet 6 inches Weight: 170 pounds
Not arrested for any crimes related to the missing college students.
Convicted in 1987 on charges of rape, sodomy, assault with intent to commit rape, and three burglaries. The crimes involved a rape in Oceano and a rape attempt in Arroyo Grande. Sentenced to 20 years in prison, but he was paroled after 10 years. Has lived for the past eight or so months in Davis Canyon, neighbors said. He worked at a local lumber store, police said.
TRIBUNE PHOTOS BY JAYSON MELLOM
Capt. Bart Topham of the San Luis Obispo Police Department speaks at a press conference Friday at the City/County Library. He said police are confident that Rex Allan Krebs is responsible for the deaths of two college students in the county. Krebs has not been charged.
Suspect has long criminal history
What we know More information is expected to be released today at a 4 p.m. press conference, police said.
Search continues for the remains of another victim. “We have found one, and we’re looking for another,” said San Luis Obispo Police Capt. Bart Topham.
“It is our intention to file charges (against Krebs) in the very near future,” Topham said.
By Jamie Hurly and David Sneed The Tribune
Rex Allan Krebs, whom police have identified as the prime suspect in the deaths of two young San Luis Obispo women, has spent more than 11 of the past 15 years in custody. The sudden accusations against Rex Krebs are disturbing because he seemed to be doing well after his release from prison in 1997, said his uncle Art Krebs of Sandpoint, Idaho. “We are shocked by it,” he said. “It’s not sitting very well with any of us. “Our heart does go to the family of the victims, regardless of who did it.” Krebs, 33, got into some trouble as a youth in Sandpoint, according to his uncle. His first serious brush with the law came in 1984, with a felony grand theft conviction for stealing a car and some
Two missing students: A timeline • Nov. 12, 1998 — Cal Poly student Rachel Newhouse, 20, disappears while walking home from a function at Tortilla Flats restaurant in San Luis Obispo. • Nov. 16, 1998 — Police seize a handrail from the Jennifer Street Bridge that they suspect is stained with Newhouse’s blood. • Dec. 19, 1998 — DNA tests reveal that blood found on the Jennifer Street bridge most likely belonged to Rachel Newhouse. • March 12, 1999 — Cuesta College student Aundria Crawford, 20, is reported missing from her Branch Street apartment in San Luis Obispo. She was last seen March 10 or 11. • March 15, 1999 — Police reveal that someone forced his way into
Crawford’s apartment and that she was apparently abducted. • April 1, 1999 — Crawford’s grandfather, Don Crawford, tells The Tribune that police think someone was stalking the student, broke into her apartment through a small window next to a sliding glass door and abducted her after a struggle, leaving blood at the scene.
Please see REMAINS, A11
• April 22, 1999 — Police announce that convicted sex offender Rex Allan Krebs of rural Davis Canyon is a suspect in both disappearances after being taken into custody for a parole violation. • April 23, 1999 — Police discover remains at the property where Krebs lived. Police said that forensic tests would be conducted to identify the remains.
Please see SUSPECT, A10
the city for five months by announcing Friday they believe both Rachel Newhouse and Aundria Crawford are dead, that they are confident the killer is in jail and that the remains of one person had been found near the suspect’s home. The remains have not been identified. Rex Allan Krebs, 33, has yet to be arrested for the crimes, but San Luis Obispo Police Capt. Bart Topham said he is certain the convicted rapist with roots in Idaho is responsible for the deaths of the two college students. Krebs remained in County Jail on Friday for allegedly violating parole. “Oh God, oh God,” said Krebs’ mother, Connie Ridley, 53, of Sandpoint, Idaho, on learning her son was the prime suspect. “Why, why, why? ... I know he’s been in trouble, but I never figured he’d do this. I’m so sorry for the families, for the girls. If there is something I could do for them, I would.” A break in the case came March 20 when Krebs’ parole officer made a surprise inspection of his residence in Davis Canyon, an offshoot of See Canyon near Avila Beach. A simulated firearm and alcoholic beverages were found, Topham said. Krebs had been paroled after serving 10 years in state prison for the rape and attempted rape of
MORE COVERAGE ON A10 Rachel Newhouse
• Remembrance: A Cal Poly event will remember all victims of violence • Megan’s Law: There are 619 registered sex offenders here • Database: How to get information on offenders
Mourners hug during a memorial service for John Tomlin, a student killed at Columbine School in Colorado.
Colorado tapes examined for accomplices By Steven K. Paulson Associated Press
LITTLETON, Colo. — Surveillance tapes from the security cameras at Columbine High may show whether the two gunmen who died in the school bloodbath had accomplices, investigators said Friday.
The center of the slaughter — the second-stor y librar y, where nearly all of the dead were found
— had no cameras. Investigators are also interviewing surviving members of the Trenchcoat Mafia to learn whether others had a role in the attack, and are trying to trace the shotguns and semiautomatic weapons the two teen-agers used to kill 13 people and then themselves on Tuesday. Focusing on the theory that Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, had help in building their ar-
senal and bringing their bombs and guns to school, investigators will be reviewing tapes from the security cameras mounted around the school, said sheriff’s Lt. John Kiekbusch. They are time-lapse cameras, meaning they periodically take pictures instead of running continuously. Each tape goes back about a week. Sherif f’s spokesman Steve Davis said the tapes have not yet
been viewed. Investigators have also interviewed at least 500 people, including friends, students and teachers. They are especially interested in members of Trenchcoat Mafia, a group of outcasts who wore black. Jefferson County Sheriff’s Lt. Please see SHOOTING, A11 First service: Memorial remembers ‘good kid.’ Page A12
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Cal Poly to remember victims of violence
From Page A1
cassettes in Nez Perce County, Idaho. He was sentenced to up to three years and served most of his 18 months’ jail time in nearly back-to-back stints at a boot-camp program, according to Mark Carnopis, a spokesman for the Idaho Department of Corrections. Krebs completed 11 months of probation in Idaho and then moved to Grover Beach in March 1987. By June he was under arrest as the suspect in two violent sexual attacks in the South County. Krebs, then 21, initially pleaded not guilty to charges of rape, sodomy, assault with the intent to commit rape, an attempted rape and three burglaries. In August, when he changed his plea to no contest, court transcripts indicate he had also been convicted of a m i s d e Art Krebs meanor sex offense in an said his unspecified nephew’s jurisdiction problems outside the county. seemed to In October mount after 1987, he was sentenced to he moved to 20 years in California, prison. He started where his his term mother had Nov. 3, 1987, at the Calimoved after fornia Instiremarrying. tution for Men at Chino, and was paroled Sept. 2, 1997. San Luis Obispo Police Capt. Bart Topham said he believes Krebs has lived in the county since his release on parole. Krebs lived in Atascadero on Bajada Avenue near Traf fic Way from June to September last year. When a neighbor learned through Megan’s Law that Krebs is a registered sex offender, a letter-writing campaign ensued and Krebs moved out. Glenn Jordan, a neighbor and former San Luis Obispo police officer, said neighbors were thrilled when Krebs moved out. “We were all dancing,” he said. Krebs looked like an ordinary man and kept to himself while living there, Jordan said. Earlier this month, FBI agents canvassed the neighborhood with a photo of Krebs and asked residents what they knew about him, Jordan said. Although Krebs’ neighbors on Davis Canyon Road near Avila Beach estimated he had lived there for eight months, it’s uncertain whether he moved there
Event includes auction, selfdefense class ——————————————————
San Luis Obispo
TRIBUNE PHOTO BY JAYSON MELLOM
This Davis Canyon home and property, where suspect Rex Allan Krebs lived, was searched Friday by investigators, who discovered the remains of one person. The gender of the person was not revealed.
directly from Atascadero. Krebs, who had worked as a garage door hanger when he first moved to California in 1987, had more recently worked at a San Luis Obispo lumberyard. Art Krebs said his nephew’s problems seemed to mount after he moved to California, where his mother had moved after remarrying. “I think things went haywire down there,” Art Krebs said. Krebs said although Rex Krebs never returned to Idaho, his father visited California at least once. Art Krebs said the family is no stranger to violence. He said one of his brothers was murdered in Vancouver, Wash., and a sister was murdered in Spokane. He did not provide details of either case. “We’ve suffered a lot of pain and agony for the family.” Rex Krebs’ father, Allan Krebs, faces trial for a drug-trafficking case in northwestern Montana, according to Deputy Lincoln County Attorney Bob Slomski. Krebs is suspected of possessing methamphetamine and marijuana for sale. He remains free on $75,000 bail.
TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO
Posters of missing student Rachel Newhouse went up in San Luis Obispo shortly after her disappearance in November. Her blood was found on the pedestrian bridge at the Amtrak station.
An upcoming five-day tribute to women victims of violence takes on poignant meaning in the wake of a suspect being held in the disappearances of Rachel Newhouse and Aundria Crawford. “We really wanted to show that the students at Cal Poly care and will not forget these women,” Colleen Mitchell, spokesperson for Associated Students Inc., said of the event that runs from Sunday through Friday, April 30. Called “Remember,” the week’s worth of events get under way Sunday with a free self-defense workshop from noon to 3 p.m. in the martial arts room at Cal Poly’s Recreation Center. In addition, the SLO Rape Crisis Center is sponsoring a silent auction, as well as live music, Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Kona’s Deli in Downtown San Luis. Proceeds will go to Cal Poly’s Take Back the Night. The Clothesline Project — T-shirts painted by men and women affected by violence against women — will be on display from April 26-28 at Poly’s University Union. Proceeds will go toward safety programs and a reward fund for information on Kristin Smart, Newhouse and Crawford. Katie Koestner, a survivor of rape and a nationally recognized advocate of sexual assault prevention, will be the keynote speaker at the Take Back the Night event Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Chumash Auditorium. Wrapping up the week on Friday, a plaque will be placed in the University Union at 10 a.m., reminding the community and campus of the missing women. All events are free and open to the public. For information, call Cal Poly’s Women’s Center at 756-2600.
Suspect among 619 sex offenders in area ———————————————
State database identifies 21 ‘high-risk’ subjects ——————————————————
San Luis Obispo ————————— By Matt Lazier The Tribune
The suspect in the disappearance of two local college students is one of 619 registered sex offenders in San Luis Obispo County. Of those, 21 are considered high-risk, meaning they have been convicted of three or more sexual and/or violent crimes in the last five years. Rex Allan Krebs, whom San Luis Obispo police have identified as the prime suspect in the deaths of the two college students, is not among the high-risk group. The number of registered sex offenders living in this county is about average for a county its size, according to Michael Van Winkle, a press officer for the California Department of Justice. Information on them is available to the public under the 1996 state statute known as Megan’s Law. The information can be found on a state-maintained database containing names, pictures, birth dates, and criminal records of the more than 82,000 registered sex offenders in the state of California. It’s aimed at making the public aware of who has been convicted of sex offenses and where they are living. According to the most current Megan’s Law database, San Luis
Obispo County’s sex of fender population is split fairly evenly between the North County, the San Luis Obispo area and the South County. Only 26 of fenders, or about 4 percent, live on the North Coast. Van Winkle said the number of registered offenders living in the North County may be augmented by parolees from Atascadero State Hospital, which houses sexually violent predators and criminally insane patients who have committed sexual crimes. In addition, wards from the El Paso De Robles Boy’s School who are incarcerated for sexual crimes would also be required to register on their release. The same can be said for the San Luis Obispo area, where sex of fenders from the California Men’s Colony, a state prison, would need to register upon parole if they were sentenced from this county. “Sex of fenders are released from the state prison system at a rate of about 300 a month,” Van Winkle said. “Another 700 a month are released from other agencies, such as county jails or mental hospitals.” San Luis Obispo’s registered sex offender population is comparable to that Monterey County, with 543. By comparison, Los Angeles County, which has a much larger population, has 16,714. California has had mandated sex offender registration since 1944, when Section 290 of the state penal code was adopted, but legislation to make their identities known to the public is much newer. The state legislature enacted Megan’s Law — named for a 7year-old New Jersey girl who was
raped and murdered by a convicted sex of fender — in October 1996. The statute gives law enforcement agencies permission to distribute information about known sex offenders and makes the information available to interested citizens. “Not every sex offender is obligated to register, although most do qualify,” said Larry Greene, a deputy district attorney in San Luis Obispo County. The criteria includes convictions for rape, child molestation and kidnapping with a violent sexual intent. Also included are illegal and nonconsensual sodomy and oral copulation, as well as crimes involving illegal pornography. Most qualifying offenses are felonies, but misdemeanor child molestation is also included, Greene said. Once a person convicted of such a crime is paroled, he or she must register with the law enforcement agency in that jurisdiction. Police departments handle sex-offender registration for cities, while sheriff’s departments oversee unincorporated areas. Offenders must also register with nearby community colleges and state university campuses. But Megan’s Law made it possible to disseminate that registration information to the public, something that never happened before, according to Van Winkle. Megan’s Law gave law enforcement agencies the option of contacting residents, schools and other organizations when a sex offender moves into the area. It also created a state-maintained database, kept on CD-ROM and placed in local law enforcement offices, containing information on all
San Luis Obispo County registered sex offenders San Luis Obispo County has 619 registered sex offenders, including 21 “high-risk” offenders — those who have been convicted of at least three sexual and/or violent crimes in the past five years. The breakdown by community: Total registered sex offenders / High risk sex offenders San Miguel 12 / 0
Paso Robles 98 / 2 Cambria Atascadero 11 / 0 70 / 10 Cayucos 3/1 Morro Bay 12 / 0 Los Osos 15 / 1 Avila Beach 1/0 Unknown zip code Pismo Beach 9 / NA 17 / 0 Grover Beach 46 / 0
Creston 4/0 Santa Margarita 9/0 California Men’s Colony 93 / NA San Luis Obispo SAN LUIS OBISPO 115 / 5
COUNTY Arroyo Grande 37 / 1 Oceano 23 / 0
Nipomo 32 / 0 SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
Santa Maria* 1/1 SOURCE: MEGAN’S LAW CD-ROM DATABASE
* Offender resides in a Santa Maria zip code but is registered in SLO County. TRIBUNE GRAPHIC BY BETH ANDERSON
registered sex offenders in the state. “At this point, adults who have not been convicted of a sex offense can look up sex offenders by name, zip code, physical appearance or by county,” Van Winkle said. Sex offenders are required to register annually, within five days of their birthday, and must alert police in both the area they leave and their new community when they relocate. In addition, registration is required for the rest of
the offender’s life. These requirements keep the database fresh for residents, Van Winkle said. But, Greene said it is also a useful tool for law enforcement investigators. “They also keep a registry of (modus operandi),” Greene said. “So, if I had a case I was investigating here in San Luis Obispo, and I had a hunch the suspect was a sex offender from San Bernardino County, I can get that information. It really is a valuable law tool.”
How to find out where offenders are living
If you want to find out if there’s a sex offender living in your neighborhood, here’s how: Go to the Sheriff’s Department’s main office in San Luis Obispo — or the three substations in Los Osos, Templeton and Arroyo Grande — and use the Megan’s Law database. The database computers are open to the public two days a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 1 to 4 p.m. It contains pictures of many of the offenders, and also gives a list of the crimes of which the person was convicted. Not included in the database is the offender’s address. “That bit of information would make it easier for some people to take things into their own hands,” said Michael Van Winkle, of the California Department of Justice. In addition, the state maintains a Megan’s Law telephone hotline that lists registered sex offenders. Adult California residents who are not registered sex offenders can access the line for a $10 fee. Callers must have at least a name and physical description of their subject for a successful call. The number is (800) 463-0400.
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Body of slain Argentine student sent home
Missing Students —————————
TRIBUNE PHOTO BY DAVID MIDDLECAMP
San Luis Obispo Police Sgt. Bud Silva helps check investigators off the list as they finish their day Friday in Davis Canyon. Investigators removed bags of evidence and a futon frame from the area.
Remains From Page A1
two South County women in 1987. The alcohol was a parole violation, and he was taken into custody, Topham said. David Hoy, the unit supervisor of the state parole office in San Luis Obispo, said Friday it was not a routine inspection. But neither Hoy nor Topham would say whether property belonging to Crawford was found inside Krebs’ residence. “All I can really say is that I’m proud of the fact that a parole agent was instrumental in solving this case,” Hoy said. Topham of fered few details about the evidence against Krebs and no information about where the body was found on the property. He declined to say if it had been buried, if it was found inside or outside the home, or if the cause of death was evident. However, he was able to rule out Krebs as a suspect in the disappearance of Cal Poly freshman Kristin Smart. Topham said Krebs was in prison in May 1996 when Smart vanished from campus. He also said police have no evidence to link Krebs to any of the other high-profile disappearances that have occurred recently in California. Members of the Newhouse and Crawford families were called to town Thursday by police. The parents were not granting interviews and were not seen at the press conference or at the entrance to Davis Canyon Road, which continues to be cordoned off by police. There are about a dozen homes up the narrow, private drive. As residents came and went Friday, police officers checked them in and out. A caravan of about 10 police vehicles, including an unmarked motor home, arrived shortly after 8 a.m. to begin the difficult task of sifting, grid by grid, for clues. Later in the day a truck carrying paper bags that had been stapled shut was seen leaving the drive. Another truck carried out a wooden futon frame. The body was discovered during the early afternoon, Topham said, and removed from the property. The department has been focusing on Krebs for weeks, showing his picture around town and interviewing his neighbors. He has a violent history in San Luis Obispo County. In March 1987, only a few weeks after clearing parole for a prior felony auto theft conviction, he raped an Oceano woman in her home. Two months later he tried to do the same thing to a woman in Arroyo Grande, but she was able to fight him off. Krebs faced a maximum sentence of 38 years for the two attacks, but after agreeing to plead no contest, he was sent to prison for 20 years. He was out in 10. During a court hearing in 1987, Superior Cour t Judge William
FRESNO (AP) — The body of the 16-year-old Argentine student who, along with her California friend and her mother, was found dead near Yosemite National Park, is being returned to her home. The remains of Silvina Pelosso are scheduled to be flown back to Argentina on Sunday courtesy of a corporate jet donated by San Diego Chargers owner and philanthropist Alex Spanos. The badly burned bodies of Ms. Pelosso, of Cordoba, and Carole Sund, 42, of Eureka, were returned Thursday night to the coroner’s of fice in Sonora by FBI investigators. FBI agent and case spokesman Nick Rossi said the remains were cleared for release to their families Friday afternoon. Argentine consul general Luis Maria Kreckler has accepted official responsibility for returning Ms. Pelosso’s remains to her parents and sister, who left Modesto two weeks ago to prepare for the burial. Mrs. Sund’s brother-in-law Ken Sund, her mother, Carole Carrington, and FBI chaplain Mark O’Sullivan have already indicated they will accompany the remains of Ms. Pelosso to her hometown. The entourage is expected to leave Stockton on Sunday afternoon, with a burial service scheduled Tuesday in Argentina. Ms. Pelosso, 16, was spending her summer vacation in Eureka with the Sunds, and was two weeks shy of returning home when she accompanied Mrs. Sund and Juli Sund, 15, on a trip to Yosemite National Park.
The women were last seen alive Feb. 15, after ice-skating and sightseeing in the park. The burnt remains of Ms. Pelosso and Mrs. Sund were found in the trunk of their torched rental car March 19. Juli’s body was found about a week later and more than 30 miles away, on a wooded hillside near Lake Don Pedro. The cause of their deaths have not been released and no suspects have been named. Investigators continue to question potential witnesses and present evidence to a federal grand jury at U.S. District Court in Fresno. The families have held several public memorials for the women. Juli and her mom will be buried side-by-side at a Eureka cemetery, where headstones were erected earlier this month. Their bodies are expected to be returned to Eureka sometime next week. The service for the Sunds will be private, and arrangements have not been made, according to a receptionist at the Carrington Co. Ms. Pelosso’s body was initially going to be returned by a commercial airline paid for out by various charities until Spanos offered his jet. Spanos, who made a fortune selling and developing real estate in the lower Central Valley, was traveling Friday and could not be immediately reached for comment. “That’s something that touched me from the very beginning, what those three had to go through,” Spanos told The Record of Stockton. “I’m just happy to be there to help them.
San Diego poised to hire first Hispanic police chief Police say suspect Rex Krebs would occasionally drop by the Gaslight Lounge on Broad Street in San Luis Obispo. Aundria Crawford lived nearby on Branch Street.
Families in town, but don’t show at press conference While dozens of journalists descended on Friday’s press conference at the City/County Library, the families of Rachel Newhouse and Aundria Crawford stayed away. San Luis Obispo police Capt. Bar t Topham said the families were still in town Friday afternoon, and that authorities had been in contact with them since they arrived in the city Thursday. “I can’t say enough about how superbly these people have been holding up, how they have been conducting themselves” he said during the press conference. “I think that’s, in part, due to
not only to their nature and the quality of their families but to the kind of suppor t they’ve gotten from this community. It’s a tough time and they are holding up amazingly well.” Each of the missing woman’s parents have declined to speak to the media. Phil and Montel Newhouse, Rachel’s parents, who live in Irvine, were summoned Thursday by police to San Luis Obispo. Don Crawford, Aundria Crawford’s grandfather, was also in San Luis Obispo on Friday but could not be reached for comment. — Jeff Ballinger
Fredman said mental illnesses was one of the factors he weighed in agreeing to the plea bargain. Fredman urged Krebs to take advantage of psychological counseling and group therapy while in prison so that he could “lead a life of a good citizen.” “I note that you are now 21 years of age and you’re going to prison for a substantial period of time,” Fredman said, according to a transcript of the hearing. “And also you will be getting out in a period of time when you will not be so old that your predispositions might not arise again and you may be tempted to commit similar offenses.” Topham said he believes Krebs has lived in the county since he was released from prison late in 1997. He had worked at the 84 Lumber store on South Higuera Street, according to several sources. Between December and February he would occasionally drop by the Gaslight Lounge on Broad Street near Crawford’s home. Owner Gaylynne Ballesteros
said the night bartender told her Krebs would come in once or twice a week to have a beer or two. “He was very quiet and never bothered or harassed anyone,” she said. Friday’s press conference created a media circus with enormous television satellite trucks from Fresno and Los Angeles filling the block in front of City Hall for much of the afternoon. Topham faced 13 TV cameras as he stepped to the microphone in the community room of the City/County Library. Many of the questions asked by reporters were met with no comment. Did Krebs confess? Has he made a statement? Was the dead person a man or a woman? Did Krebs know Crawford or Newhouse? Were weapons found at his home? Did the FBI prepare a personality profile of the killer? No comment. “Let me make myself clear,” Topham said. “I’m not trying to be obtuse or evasive. Our focus must remain the successful conclusion
and prosecution of this case. I am not going to go into the kinds of specifics that could cause problems to that prosecution later on.” Topham said Krebs is likely to be arrested “in the very near future” but would not give a time frame. No estimate was given on how long it would take to identify the body. It took the FBI up to a week to identify the bodies of the three tourists discovered dead near Yosemite last month. Several reporters asked about the fear that has darkened the city since Newhouse, a 20-year-old Cal Poly junior from Irvine, and Crawford, a 20-year-old Cuesta College sophomore from Clovis, vanished. Newhouse was last seen at a downtown restaurant Thursday, Nov. 12. Crawford was abducted from her Branch Street home March 12. “I am one of the people in this town where my family and children live, where they have all been born and raised,” Topham said. “I share all the same feelings. I think they can feel better today.” Many people found their relief was tinged with sadness. Cal Poly President Warren Baker was in Los Angeles on university business when he learned of the announcement Friday afternoon. “You always hope and pray for a positive outcome,” he said in a quiet voice. The effect of these crimes will be felt for a long time to come, he said. If there’s a legacy here, he hopes it’s an increased awareness of personal safety. “Cal Poly and Cuesta College and the community of San Luis Obispo by any standard is viewed as a safe community and sometimes we’re complacent about that. But we’re not immune to the things that go on.” Staff writers María T. García, Silas Lyons, Jeff Ballinger, Jamie Hurly and the Fresno Bee contributed to this report.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — This sister city to Tijuana is poised to hire its first Hispanic police chief, but David Bejarano says his heritage is just another asset he can bring to the job. Bejarano, 42, has received the recommendation of the city manager to run the police department of the nation’s sixthlargest city. The San Diego City Council will vote Monday and if his nomination is approved, Bejarano would start Tuesday. “I’m proud of my ethnic background, but it’s just another asset I can bring to the job,” said Bejarano, an assistant chief in a department of 2,058 sworn officers and more than 1,000 civilians and reser ve of ficers. “It will only enhance my effectiveness.” City Manager Michael Uberuaga notified council members Thursday night that Bejarano was his choice of 21 candidates. He narrowed the list to eight earlier this month and then selected a diverse group of 20 community members to help him make his choice. The finalists included five members from the
department, including two Hispanics and a black woman. Uberuaga, who is hospitalized due to an illness, did not offer any comment Friday, but he recently said he was looking for a genuine, credible person who was a good manager, accessible to the community and would promote high morale in the department. Former Chief Jerry Sanders resigned from the $135,000-ayear job to take a better paying, less stressful job as chairman of the Greater San Diego County United Way. He left office last week. Bejarano, known for his unassuming leadership style and humble personality, appeared to have the majority support of the council, the San Diego Police Officers Association and many community leaders, including Hispanics who lobbied the council with letters and phone calls for his nomination. Mayor Susan Golding this week interviewed four of the finalists, which some council members feared was a violation of the city charter.
youth group and went on a missionary trip to Mexico. He will be buried in Wisconsin. “Schools are disintegrating, partly because prayer has been removed from them,” said the boy’s mother, Doreen Tomlin. Asked whether the school system had failed, the boy’s father, John, said: “The only system that has failed is that God is left out of everything.” Two fellow members of the Trench Coat Mafia apologized to families and friends of the victims on Wednesday. “There was no sign they would do this,” sobbed Nicole Makham. “We would just like to say that we’re sorry for what they did.” A makeshift memorial to the victims near Columbine has continued to grow steadily, with hundreds of flower bouquets, stuffed animals, signs and cards. One sign contained images of children’s hands in fingerpaint with children’s names on them. Another said: “Silence contributes to moral decay.” Columbine students will return to classrooms, though not their own, next Thursday. Columbine students, staff and faculty will share nearby Chatfield High School, with Columbine classes taking place in an afternoon split session.
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Dave Taylor said investigators have not identified a specific third suspect. Another key area is tracing the guns: two sawed-off shotguns, a 9 mm carbine rifle and a TEC DC-9 semiautomatic pistol, a modified version of the now-banned TEC-9 assault weapon. Lawrence Bettendor f, an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said it will be difficult to trace the weapons. The boys also packed the big pockets in their utility pants with ammunition and used pipe bombs stuf fed with nails and BBs as shrapnel. District Attorney Dave Thomas said most of the explosive devices found in the school were made from readily available household items. Meanwhile, more than 900 mourners gathered at Foothills Bible Church for the first of many memorial services expected through the weekend. The service was held for 16year-old John Tomlin, who worked after school in a gardening store, belonged to a church