UPDATE: The Colusa County Sheriff’s Office has identified the two women found dead in Arbuckle on Thursday as Kimberly Lynn Taylor, 39, and Jessica Lynn Mazak, 25.

Martin Ehrke, 49, of
Arbuckle, was arrested
on two counts
of homicide Thursday.

Two women were found dead at a residence located at 6069 Hillgate Road in Arbuckle early Thursday morning, and the man suspected of murdering them is behind bars at the Colusa County Jail.

Colusa County Sheriff’s Lt. Mark Contreras said that they booked Martin Ehrke, 49, of Arbuckle, at the Colusa County Jail on two counts of homicide. He will be arraigned today at 2 PM at the Colusa County Superior Court.

According to Contreras, officers were dispatched to a report of suspicious circumstances at around 3:55 AM on Jan. 25, at 6069 Hillgate Road in Arbuckle.

According to scanner traffic from that morning, an anonymous reporting party called the Sheriff’s Office just before 4 AM, advising dispatchers that he had returned home to discover blood on the walls of a residence he shared with two female roommates, who he hadn’t seen since around lunch on Jan. 24.

“Deputies showed up, and in doing a sweep of the property and some of the rooms, they actually found a freezer with what appeared to be a deceased person inside,” Contreras said at the scene on Thursday afternoon, adding that the body of an adult woman that was found intact inside the freezer. “They backed out, called the Department of Justice, and wrote a warrant. The Department of Justice came out and they are processing this right now.”

The body, later identified as Kimberly Lynn Taylor, 39, was discovered in the chest freezer in a room at a secondary dwelling on the property, Contreras said, adding that there was no evidence that anything took place in the main house.

After discovering the body in the freezer, the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office’s dive team searched a nearby pond on the property, where they discovered a second deceased female, Contreras later confirmed. The second woman was identified as Jessica Lynn Mazak, 25.

Contreras said that while the women weren’t renters and had no relationship with the property owner, they were currently known to be residing on the property.

“There are a lot of people coming and going here,” he added. “There are a lot of rooms here.”

Shortly after officers began investigating, they found and detained Ehrke – the son of the property owner – at a residence in Colusa and began questioning him. Contreras said a friend took Ehrke to the Colusa Medical Center for unknown reasons on Wednesday evening, and Ehrke was released a short time later before he was ultimately located, detained and arrested.

“It hits it hard. It’s a small community, everybody knows everybody, and because of social media, word travels fast,” Contreras said. “It’s pretty upsetting not only to the community here, but to the kids. We had to contact the schools, let them know, ‘Hey, don’t worry, everything is good, we’ve got it contained, we now have a suspect.’ So, it’s going to be hard on this community for a while.”

Brian Pearson is the former Managing Editor & Reporter for the Williams Pioneer Review. Brian joined the Williams Pioneer Review in June 2016 and is committed to bringing hyperlocal news to its readers. A few of his projects included reporting local government and the sports page.