Little new information is available regarding what happened to Steve Myers, who was found dead Dec. 29 on a beach in Smith River, and his family members are preparing to offer a reward for information.
Del Norte County Sheriff’s Cmdr. Bill Steven said in early January that detectives are investigating the case as a homicide.
Myers’ sister, Nancy Steele, said she had heard he was shot in the head and robbed of $300 over an argument about a tent.
“He was complaining to my husband about a tent being stolen,” she said. “He had also just received $300 from his nephew, but when they found him, he had no wallet or anything.”
Steele estimated Myers had been in the area a couple weeks, camping on a parcel of property he inherited from his late mother. She said he was known to camp on the property, which used to feature a house that burned down a few years ago.
Steven confirmed the cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the head and said detectives are continuing to follow leads on the case.
Steele said many in Smith River are talking about the incident and making assertions about who they think is responsible for Myers’ death.
“But no one has anything concrete,” she said. “All the talk is that is was a group of tweekers. People keep saying names, but they don’t have anything substantial.”
She said her husband is considering offering a reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible.
She said it was not a drug-related crime, as Myers did not use drugs.
“We think the community is in danger,” Steele said. “If someone would rob and kill someone like Steve (Myers), that puts everyone in danger.”
She said Myers was a tall, strong man, who had worked as an electrician all his life.
“He worked on the (Pelican Bay) prison and the (Sutter Coast) hospital, and worked most of the year and took time off,” Steele said. “He was a big strong person, and it would be hard to take him down.”
Steele said she believes Myers was attacked and robbed.
“People are in danger until this person is caught and convicted,” she said.