CALIFORNIA CITY – Investigations into eight unsolved major crime cases in California City are continuing, but no arrests are imminent at this time, according to police.
A report by Bakersfield’s 23ABC News on June 10 classifying recently seized evidence in the murder of Matthew Lininger as a possible break in the case is premature, at best.
“The investigation is ongoing,” said California City Police Detective Sgt. Timothy O’Quinn. “We are on the trail of suspects in that case and we are looking into some evidence that will potentially lead to suspects being identified.”
O’Quinn said investigators routinely file court documents including search warrant information - the basis of the report by 23ABC. The action of filing the documents does not necessarily mean there has been a break in case, it’s just a normal part of the investigation process.
“I was a bit miffed that they published the information,” said O’Quinn. “For someone to print that, without so much as a courtesy call to confirm something that could potentially jeopardize the case or cause harm to the families, I would say is irresponsible.”
He cautioned that it’s important not to jump to conclusions based on the type of information being sought or collected.
“We are continuing to serve search warrants and interview suspects and witnesses in all eight of the unsolved cases,” said O’Quinn. “We hope the information will prove fruitful and that at some point in the near future we will we have enough evidence to present to the district attorney - we aren’t there yet.”
Lininger was stabbed to death at his home in California City on Jan. 4, 2010.
The other unsolved case victims include Desiree Thompson, Demetri Thomas, Robert Austin Tharp, Deverrie Schiller, Philip Pete Hammond, Dr. Burdette Thorbus and Charles Pieper.
Three of the cases; Hammond, Tharp and Thompson are classified as missing persons, while Lininger, Thomas, Schiller, Thorbus and Pieper are unsolved homicides. The California City Council voted unanimously on April 9 to increase the reward to $25,000 for information on each of the cases.
Anyone with information on theses cases or any other, you can report anonymously at (661) 322-4040 or contact O’Quinn at 760-373-8606.