The following is a press release issued by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. This has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:
On 10-31-2023 Deputies responded to a vehicle fire where suspected human remains were located. The location was a private parcel at the end of Refuse Road, with a county address in the 78000 block of County Road 337L in Covelo, California.
Severely burned human remains were located in the rear of the vehicle. One license plate on the vehicle survived the fire and Sheriff’s Detectives were able to determine the registered owner.
The Sheriff’s Office requested the assistance of Professors from the Chico State University Forensic Anthropology Department to assist in recovering and identifying the burned remains.
While this was occurring, a male adult reported (to the Sheriff’s Office) his adult son as a possible missing person, which was the same person as the registered owner of the vehicle. When the missing person’s report was made, Detectives were learning the missing person had been working on an illegal cannabis farm at a residence in the 23000 block of Hopper Lane in Covelo.
Sheriff’s Detectives went to that location, and in checking the missing person’s living structure adjacent to the cannabis grow, they located an obvious crime scene.
Two people who reside at that same location were identified as being Lawrence Allen Joaquin and Iran Lee Hoaglen.
Joaquin arrived at the location while Sheriff’s Detectives were present, and he was arrested on unrelated drug charges and violation of CDC Parole.
Hoaglen, arrived at the location while Sheriff’s Detectives were present, but left prior to being identified as a suspect in this case.
Sheriff’s Detectives continued investigations and established probable cause to identify both Joaquin and Hoaglen as suspects in this case, resulting in the issuance of warrants for their arrest.
Joaquin was still in custody at the Mendocino County Jail and was subsequently booked on murder related charges on 11-06-2023.
Sheriff’s Detectives engaged in attempts to locate Hoaglen and on 11-07-2023 they learned he was possibly at a residence in the 15300 block of Hudson Avenue in Clearlake, California (Lake County).
With the assistance of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Lake/Mendocino Multi-Agency Regional SWAT team, Hoaglen was arrested at that residence during the evening of 11-07-2023. Hoaglen was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held on a No-Bail status.