Saturday, June 12, 2010

Body Parts ~ Mystery Update

I promised in a comment on yesterday's post that I would update if I found out more information about this case.  Well, this morning's local paper, the Appeal Democrat has more information... Not much, but it's "more".  I also found more information on one of the Sacramento TV stations that are considered "local" for our area.  I'll post links to the articles at the bottom of the post again.  The authorities still haven't said how or even when Mr. McDonald died, nor are they saying whether or not murder charges will be filed.  We're still in a "wait and see" mode on that.  We can guess at the time of Mr. McDonald's death, but guesses aren't going to get the investigators anywhere.  They need the facts and the evidence to back up the facts.

Lela McDonald is in Sutter County Jail, her bail has been set at $250,000. Her arraignment is set for Monday morning.  Ms. McDonald is an unemployed in-home care aide.  Her charges so far are "being an accessory to a felony" and "destruction of evidence". McDonald also allegedly transported methamphetamine, possessed a controlled substance and was under its influence when she was arrested.  I can't find anything stating that she has drug charges against her yet, but who knows, that could be coming in the not too distant future.

Michael Gold, as far as I can tell, is still in the Josephine County Jail in Oregon.  The article in the local paper doesn't say when he'll be brought back to Sutter County. Extradition is "pending", according to one of the articles I read this  morning.

According to an affidavit acquired by News 10, the investigators believe that a reciprocating saw was used to dismember Elmer McDonald's body in the mobile home that he and Lela McDonald shared in West Sacramento.  Back when all the body parts kept turning up down near Beer Can Beach, the deputies who searched the area also found a number of rusty reciprocating saw blades and a four-inch folding knife.  The torso that was discovered separately down-river in Sacramento County on February 26th had eight stab wounds.

Today's articles are saying now that when Michael Gold was stopped for that broken license plate light back in November the deputy noted that Gold was soaking wet and that one of his hands was bloody. It is also noted that the deputy stopped Gold just before midnight on November 15th.  Today's information also says that Gold had no fishing gear in his pick-up truck, so the story of looking for a fishing spot didn't add up.  The presence of the black plastic bags and the rope is still there in the stories...

Somehow, after the body parts began showing up, the investigators again looked at Gold.  They became suspicious when it was discovered that Gold's stepfather hadn't been seen at the mobile home where he and Lela McDonald lived in West Sacramento.  The investigators sought out a relative of Elmer and obtained a DNA sample which led to the identification of the remains.  After identifying the remains, the investigators got a search warrant on April 5th and searched the mobile home on the following day.  The search turned up the blood evidence and also evidence that someone had attempted to cover up the crime.  The landlord of the mobile home told the investigators that Lela McDonald had informed him that she'd replaced some carpet and repainted some walls due to a small fire that she was able to put out by herself.  The other piece of incriminating evidence was also given to the investigators by the landlord.  He said that Elmer McDonald had always paid the rent by check since moving there in 2003.  He said that Lela McDonald had suddenly started paying the rent in November.

The News 10 article states that the investigators are seeking witnesses who might help directly link the pair to McDonald's death.  So if any of my readers are in Sacramento and can give any help to the investigators, please give the Sutter County Sheriff's office a call at 530-822-7307 or leave a tip at

Appeal Democrat: Woman to be arraigned in Beer Can Beach body parts case
News 10: Cops believe West Sacramento man was butchered in his mobile home

No comments: