UPDATE: Elko man detained in missing camper’s death
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UPDATE: Elko man detained in missing camper’s death

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Grant Whitaker and Maverick Fisher

Grant Whitaker and Maverick Fisher

LAKE COUNTY, California — What are believed to be the remains of an Illinois man reported missing last week were discovered in a remote Scotts Valley property Monday, said the Lake County sheriff.

Grant David Whitaker, a deaf 25-year-old man from Mackinaw, Illinois who was traveling in Northern California, was first reported missing in Illinois to the Tazewell County sheriff on Aug. 20, according to a release published on deaf news outlet The Deaf Report.

On Saturday, Aug. 24, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office was informed that a stolen vehicle linked to Whitaker may be located outside a Dollar General store somewhere in Lake County. Deputies found the vehicle near the Clearlake Oaks Dollar General and impounded it for processing.

According to the department, Whitaker’s family had informed law enforcement of an altercation that may have taken place between Whitaker and a man he was traveling with at a campground in Humboldt County. Whitaker’s traveling companion was Maverick William Fisher, a 21-year-old man from Elko, Nevada, said the department.

“Whitaker’s family had not heard from him since the supposed altercation,” said the sheriff’s office.

Fisher, like Whitaker, is also deaf.

On Sunday evening, the sheriff’s office was informed that Fisher had “admitted to killing Whitaker,” and was given “detailed directions as to where Whitaker’s body could be located,” said the department.

Citing an active investigation, the department declined to comment on the source of that information.

On Monday morning, the sheriff’s major crimes unit served a search warrant at a property in Scotts Valley and found what looks like Whitaker’s remains.

“Detectives were able to locate what is believed to be the human remains of Whitaker in a remote area near the 7500 block of Scott’s Valley Road,” said the sheriff.

Later the same day, the department was contacted by law enforcement in Rosarito, Mexico, who stated they had contacted Fisher there, and had determined he was wanted in relation to Whitaker’s death.

Lt. Corey Paulich, a spokesman for the Lake County sheriff’s office, said Tuesday that Fisher had been deported from Mexico and detained at the San Diego County Jail. U.S. Marshals and border patrol agents cooperated to make the move, Paulich said.

Fisher will soon be transferred to Lake County, Paulich added.

Meanwhile, the Lake and Humboldt County sheriff’s offices are trying to locate the scene of the reported altercation between Whitaker and Fisher in Humboldt.

Detectives are “looking for a crime scene in Humboldt County,” Paulich said.

Whitaker’s remains will undergo an autopsy on Wednesday. Information as to Whitaker’s cause of death could be revealed the same day, Paulich noted.

The department requested that anyone with information related to the investigation contact Detective Richard Kreutzer at 707-262-4233 or at Richard.Kreutzer@lakecountyca.gov.

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