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By Investigative Reporter, Linda Sutter – June 13, 2024

On May 2, 2021, a chilling incident unfolded on 101 Bertsch Road in Del Norte County, California. A 29-year-old woman lost her life in a gruesome manner—burned and shot. The scene drew multiple emergency responders, including fire departments, the Del Norte Sheriff’s Department, and the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

Fast forward three years, and the case remains unsolved, and was never investigated until Kelly appeared before the Board of Supervisors. But it’s not just the murder that haunts the community; it’s the conflicting reports, deliberate indifference, and unanswered questions surrounding the investigation, as well as a murder walking around freely within this community.

Kelly Metcalf’s Fight for Justice

Kelly Metcalf, mother of Tamera

Kelly Metcalf, the grieving mother of the victim (Tamera), refuses to let her daughter’s memory fade into oblivion. During a recent board of supervisor meeting on May 28, 2024, she courageously addressed the public. Joey Borges, acting as chair, allowed her to speak without interruption—a stark contrast to Mr. Wilson, who cut her off after a mere three minutes, displaying callous disregard for a lost human life.

The Missing Police Report

Kelly managed to obtain some reports from local agencies regarding her daughter’s death. However, a critical piece of evidence eludes her: the police report filed by the first responding officer, Amezcua. Despite Kelly’s persistence, the authorities have denied her access to this crucial document. She has called with tips, sought conversations with the Sheriff, but all her efforts have fallen on deaf ears. Now she must obtain a Writ of Mandate in order to obtain Amezcua’s report, causing her intentional infliction of emotional distress by the sheriff department.

Mr. Capiello’s Intriguing Role

Enter Mr. Capiello, the groundskeeper of the barn where the incident occurred. He took pictures—why? His submitted declaration, allegedly authored by an attorney, contained eye-opening details. According to Mr. Capiello, he heard a woman scream, followed by gunshots. He found the barn engulfed in flames. But questions arise: How did he know the source of the gunshots and screams? Why did he take pictures instead of notifying the police immediately?

The barn’s locked door adds another layer of mystery. Unlike a typical residence, the keyhole was on the inside. Mr. Capiello, one of two keyholders, lives in a shed on the property. His telephone number, registered under Vincent A. Capiello, lacks known local addresses. Why hasn’t law enforcement questioned him more thoroughly?

Conflicting Reports

The incident narrative diverges. Coroner Assistant Deputy Hunter reported picking up the body on May 4th, pronouncing death at 08:42 hours that day. Yet, the body was discovered on the morning of the 3rd. The report hints at a parallel investigation into possible arson.

However, Ryan Wakefield of Crescent City Fire & Rescue filed a fire report on 5/4/2021, stating zero injuries, fatalities, or casualties. Chief Bill Gillespie didn’t address the discrepancies, nor did he review Wakefield’s report until 12/29/2021.The Bertsch Road murder remains a haunting enigma—one that Kelly Metcalf refuses to let fade away. As the community awaits answers, the shadows of deliberate indifference and conflicting reports cast a long, unsettling pall over justice itself. 

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