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Police: Red Bluff man arrested for girl's death
Red Bluff police arrested a local man in connection with the death of 14-year-old Marysa Nichols Saturday evening.
Quentin Ray Bealer, 39, of Red Bluff, was booked into Tehama County Jail on suspicion of murder.
“Bealer was interviewed extensively this morning,” police Chief Paul Nanfito said from a statement released during a press conference at 7:30 p.m.
“Based upon information obtained from the interview, members of the Red Bluff Police Department, Tehama County Sheriff’s Department and the Tehama County Probation
Department served two search warrants,” Nanfito added. “One was served at a residence on the 1400 bliock of Second Street in Red Bluff and the other was served on Central Avenue in Gerber.”
Nanfito did not offer any details about what if anything was recovered from the searches, and again declined to offer a cause of death.
He said the cause of death will be announced after the results of the autopsy conducted in Woodland Saturday were known.
Nichols’ body was found by law enforcement at 11 a.m. Thursday in Brickyard Creek, which runs behind Red Bluff High School. She had been reported missing on Tuesday.
A surveillance video of Nichols wandering in the direction of the creek, her typical path home, also showed a white male in that vicinity around the same time.
The police released the video to the media Friday night and asked for help in identifiying the man.
Nanfito said that the department received “dozens and dozens of tips” from the video.
“He was postively ID’d as the person on the survellance tape,” the chief sad.
However, Bealer was not the man that area residents posted on nearly 300 Facebook pages as a possible suspect in the case.
That man was a registered sex offender. Nanfito said he is not aware of any criminal history for Bealer.
Nanfito, who expressed his gratitude to the public for its support, became a bit emotional when asked about how he felt about Nichols’ killing happening in his community.
He said that anybody would be upset if his or her child had been killed, but was clearly choked up when responding.
Nichols, a student at Bluff High School’s Education Outreach Academy, was remembered Friday night during a candlelight vigil as a happy, typical teenager who loved her family.
“I came to honor her. She was my friend,” a girlfriend said at the vigil, which was held at the county courthouse.
TCN staff member Christina Meeds played an essential role in the development of this story.