Update to Two Homicides Investigated: Victim ID'd


Partially skeletonized human remains discovered Oct. 14 in a Garberville transient camp next to U.S. Highway 101 have been identified as 30-year-old Robert James Flaherty of Sugarcreek, Ohio, according to Humboldt County Deputy Coroner Trevor J. Enright.

Flaherty's death, of gunshot wounds, is believed to be homicide, says a news release from Enright.

Two recent unrelated deaths in southern Humboldt are being investigated as homicides by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.

On Oct. 14, a 911 caller reported finding a body in a transient camp near U.S. Highway 101 and Alderpoint Road in Garberville. An autopsy four days later “revealed the body was a male and he died of gunshot wounds,” according to a sheriff’s news release, which also noted that the coroner’s office “is close to identifying the deceased male.”

On Oct. 19, a 48-year-old woman allegedly shot and killed 32-year-old Ethan Loren Stroud in his Shelter Cove home after he allegedly assaulted the suspect and a 43-year-old woman who was his girlfriend. According to a sheriff’s news release, Stroud had “showed up at the residence intoxicated and assaulted the 48-year-old female and the 43-year-old female.”

“During the assault, the 48-year-old female was able to obtain a semi-automatic handgun which she brandished at Stroud, and told him to quit assaulting" them, says the news release. “Stroud not only refused, but aggressively came at the 48-year-old female who was holding the handgun, who then shot Stroud.”

The women “had visible injuries and complained of pain,” says the release; the 48-year-old was taken to the hospital to be treated, and the 43-year-old refused treatment. Nobody’s been arrested yet, but the Times-Standard reports Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Lt. Steve Knight saying the shooting “appears to be self-defense” although the final determination of charges will be made by the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office.

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