BREAKING: Homicide investigation underway after Burney man’s death

BURNEY, Calif. — Although Shasta County Sheriff’s Office officials have said they were not yet ready to release any specific details or information, an SCSO Sergeant confirmed to SCNS this afternoon that a homicide investigation is underway in the small, Intermountain area town of Burney.

The victim, confirmed as Mark Anderson, of Burney, recently died after an unspecified altercation that recently left him hospitalized with severe injuries, according to Burney Sheriff’s Station Sergeant Marc St. Clair. The Sergeant advised that the Shasta County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit (MCU) is now handling the investigation.


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Questions about the Sheriff’s ongoing investigation began to circulate throughout the town of just 3,200, located about 65 miles east of Redding, late last week when area residents began to post questions on social media asking about heavy police presence occurring at and around the Church of Christ at 37134 Superior Avenue.

Area resident Ashley Reinhart was the first to post an online query on March 19, when she said a MCU detective left a business card at her door seeking information.

Officials confirmed a murder investigation is underway after the death of Burney resident Mark Anderson. Anderson was affiliated with the Church of Christ, where much of the sheriff’s investigation has been focused. He died after some type of altercation that left him hospitalized in critical condition before his passing.

“When I asked my neighbor about it, she described seeing homicide detectives going door to door on Michigan Street, canvassing the area in ‘plain white cars’.” She also described that official vehicles were seen at the church, which was cordoned off for several hours while detectives and others combed through the church and property searching for evidence.

Reinhart went on to explain that detectives were asking area residents if they knew Anderson, who was reportedly affiliated with the church. They also asked if anyone had seen or heard anything unusual in the area of the church around the time Anderson sustained the critical injuries that ultimately led to his death.

“They asked if anyone had seen or heard anything or noticed any unusual people by the church, but wouldn’t say what happened other than they were investigating an active homicide,” Reinhart explained.

Another area resident, who requested to not be identified, said she was told by one detective that the victim was beaten very badly and had remained hospitalized in critical condition, but had just recently passed away.

SEE RELATED STORY: UPDATE: New details of Burney murder released – Man arrested

While some area residents speculated about why Anderson may have been murdered and pointed to recent allegations of child abuse and drug dealing against the “unofficial pastor” at the church, others were quick to point out that those allegations had never amounted to anything more than fodder from the town’s rumor mill.

Asked for more information, St. Clair advised he could not release any further details other than to confirm that a murder investigation is underway and he referred all other questions to SCSO’s MCU Sergeant Wallace.

Calls to Wallace today went unanswered due to it being the weekend, but SHASCOM officials told SCNS the Sergeant is expected to be back in his office tomorrow and may be available to provide more details at that time.


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Anderson’s murder investigation comes on the heels of several other recent major incidents to occur in Burney over the last few weeks. The most recent incident involved the March 16th arrest of two people after shots were fired within 300 feet of the Fall River Joint Unified School District’s Burney office. That incident forced the lockdown of the office as well as Burney Elementary School.

Another tragic incident involved a 63-year-old Burney woman who had been using a walker when she was struck and dragged 20 to 30 feet down Main Street on March 11. The driver, who ran over the woman and fled the scene – leaving her to die in the roadway, has not yet been located or identified.

Two other recent incidents involved a series of eight overnight arson fires on March 4th and a convicted arsonist who was arrested again after a series of incidents that included lighting two fires, vandalizing a video dispensing machine, and then resisting arrest.

Anyone with information regarding this ongoing investigation is encouraged to contact Shasta County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit Sergeant Wallace at (530) 245-6135. Callers can remain anonymous.

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information becomes available.

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Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.


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