The body discovered on Walker Ridge in Colusa County on April 17 is that of a missing Orland man with a long criminal history.
The Glenn County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the death of Brandon Dawson, 26, as a homicide. Dawson was wanted in connection with an attempted armed robbery in Oregon.
Dawson was reported missing by his mother, Kelli Skidmore, on March 10, but tips that he had been murdered around March 8 in Orland over illegal drugs and his body dumped in the wilderness near Lake County is what led to the gruesome discovery, Glenn County officials said.
The Colusa County Sheriff’s Office and Colusa County Search and Rescue aided Glenn County in the search and recovery of Dawson’s body, which was located by cadaver dogs, but have turned the investigation over to Glenn County.
“This was their case,” said Sgt. Mike Bradwell, Colusa County Narcotics Task Force commander. “It is their investigation.”
At the time of his disappearance, Dawson had been identified as the prime suspect in an attempted armed robbery in Coos Bay, Ore., after Dawson allegedly arranged to meet a man in a parking lot on Feb. 7 to buy his gold coin. Police said Dawson pulled a gun, but the victim was able to escape in his vehicle. It is believed Dawson traveled to Oregon after leading law enforcement on a high speed pursuit through the Corning area in January, where he managed to evade arrest.
Law enforcement encountered Dawson again, in Orland, on Feb. 26, after he abandoned his car and fled an attempted traffic stop on foot, once again evading capture.
Prior to his death, Dawson had numerous run-ins with law enforcement and had been arrested or convicted on charges of burglary, evading a peace officer, DUI, possession of alcohol while in jail, making criminal threats, felon in possession of a firearm, felony vandalism, possession of stolen property, parole violations, and resisting arrest.
Dawson’s family also had a troubled past and were often entangled with the criminal justice system, court records indicate. Dawson’s father, John Dawson, was shot and killed on a Chico street around 4:45 AM last August 16. No arrest has been made in that case.
Glenn County Sheriff’s Office officials said the investigation into Brandon Dawson’s murder is ongoing. ■