By Kent Gray
Triplicate staff writer
A former Crescent City resident was charged with murder at the Del Norte County jail yesterday in connection with a seven-year-old unsolved homicide.
I feel like I just entered the friggin Twilight Zone, said suspect Robert Allen Wigley, 41, in a telephone interview from the jail yesterday. They said it was from when I worked in a motel in Crescent City. They told me my blood was on this girl they had found.
The victim, Camillia J. Randall, 18, was a hitchhiker from Longview, Wash. whose body was found in the Stout Grove area of Howland Hill Road on Oct. 30, 1994.
According to earlier sheriffs office reports, a local business owner was a prime suspect in the case in 1994 but was eventually cleared when his DNA did not match the fluid collected at the crime scene.
The evidence obtained at the crime scene was processed and stored by the California Department of Justice criminal laboratories, said a sheriffs office press release yesterday. This evidence was later used to aid in the identification of a suspect ... subsequently, the Del Norte County Sheriffs Department has arrested Wigley for Randalls murder.
An autopsy determined the cause of death to be manual strangulation with blunt trauma to the head as a contributing factor. The report also stated she had been sexually assaulted and foreign body fluids were found at the scene.
There is exciting new evidence in the case, said District Attorney Robert Drossel. This Wigley guy was transported here from Oregon (on Nov. 20) because of a probation violation. While the sheriffs office was investigating the murder case, we were hoping we would have more time to put the case together, but it appeared he was about to be bailed out. So he was booked on a probable-cause arrest.
Wigley said he was surprised when Detective Gene McManus confronted him with the murder charge.
He said he was going to charge me with the homicide. He asked me if I remembered this girl. I forget what name he said her name was, and I said Id need to see a picture, said Wigley. And thats when he showed me this picture of this body with bones sticking out. I mean it was gross. I went off on him for showing it to me and called him several names.
Wigley, who was convicted in a child-molestation case last year, was critical of the sheriffs office in the months preceding his recent arrest. He claimed he was not properly represented and was coerced into making a confession in that case.
The sheriffs office said no further details would be forthcoming while the investigation continues.
Randall, whose nickname was Forest, had lived in the downtown area of Ashland, Ore. shortly before arriving in Crescent City. A sheriffs office investigation concluded Randalls body, which was fully clothed and wrapped in a blanket, was dumped in Stout Grove and the crime occurred elsewhere.