Jul 19, 2016

Community concern grows due to lack of information on Fortuna hit and run suspect

On a daily basis, readers and community members email and call me flabbergasted why it is taking so long to get information on the alleged suspect. The concerns and questions in this post are from various people.

The suspect's lawyer made a statement to other media after I broke the news that he was representing the suspect.


I did not get that information from him nor have I pressed him for any. He is doing his job for his client, as he should be.

We had an informal chat today. Nothing that is new information about the case, just a chat about semantics and people's reaction.

He asked me why I used the word  "hiding" and I explained why.

I also told him CHP disputes his claim that they know where the alleged suspect is; I also said that I can understand people's concerns.

Someone fled the scene, then has apparently disappeared and will only communicate through a lawyer. It has been a week and people have a right to question why the lack of information and their perception that this alleged suspect(s) is being treated differently.

Has any other alleged DUI or hit and run suspect been given such consideration.

Something does not add up. The alleged suspect(s) have only themselves to blame for the speculation.

Previous posts:




  1. Reading between the lines of what has been said (both officially, and in comments on your previous post) I'd say that the driver has signed themself into a mental health facility under a doctor's care ("diminished capacity, complete breakdown", what-have-you ploy.
    The CHP or other law enforcement probably can't take her/him into custody
    until the doctor says she/he is capable of being released from medical care.
    To be followed by a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity as the driver has no knowledge or memory of what happened.
    The vehicle parked at the driver's residence would make sense (for that plea), drove home, no idea of what happened on the way home. "I must have blacked out" the mother said, looking weak and drawn. "I don't know", she kept repeating, then breaking down in tears and crying even though she had been given sedatives/tranquilizers.
    A good attorney would have not asked what happened, he/she would have suggested what might have seem to happen: (going home, remembering nothing) and that everything she/he had been told happened was to much to bear, she/he couldn't cope. Then the attorney could have asked: "What do you remember?"
    Every person has the right to an attorney and a fair trial. Let's hope the deceased also are given a fair trial and that the driver doesn't get a
    "Get out of jail free" card verdict. If I lived in Eureka I'd love to follow the trial in person...I've served on juries (all small time stuff) at the old Hoopa Justice Court. Very different stories from the mundane accounts the Times-Standard or tv news provide.
    Glad you're following up...

  2. John, thank you for your diligence in attempting to get answers regarding this case. The longer it goes the more cynical I become that we will see justice. The mother being a lifelong resident of the Eel River Valley only opens the door for speculation that she got preferential treatment from LE that may have led to her being able to flee. Was there a screw-up? If she isn't suffering some kind of mental crisis, she should be. Readers on various sites have questioned the possibility now that Marci's boyfriend was at the wheel - would any mother protect a new boyfriend for causing the death of her child? I don't believe that for a minute. Any question about the son being the driver has also been answered IMO as he has been seen in town. Joe, The Tsarnas family and all of the other family members NEED to know that this has been given the attention it deserves. More than a week and there are just more questions.

  3. I think a lot of us feel like you do. There is only one person who can end this speculation and they need to come forward.

  4. Thanks again for following up and making the phone call to the driver's attorney. I've wondered whether it was the boyfriend also, or the son. However the comment above makes me think it's not the kid and probably not the "new" boyfriend. We are all outraged that they won't name a suspect, or person of interest, if they are really looking for that person. Everyone else seems to get hauled off to jail and booked (then released!)..

  5. I can only imagine how the other girl's family must be frustrated by the CYA antics of this mother.