Updated 10 am, Thursday, May 22 to reflect increased award amount.
The Tehama County (California) Sheriff’’s Office has released the composite sketch above of a suspect in the robbery and shooting of F. Patrick Gregory. Police stressed that the artist rendition depicted here is an 80% likeness to the suspect.
Late Friday morning, Mr. Gregory, 69, and his hiking companion, a 76-year-old male friend from the small nearby town of Manton were not far from a trailhead just off heavily traveled Highway 36E, north of the county seat of Red Bluff in Tehama County, when they encountered a man who robbed and then shot them. The men did not resist, police confirmed.
Mr. Gregory died. His companion was seriously wounded but was able to provide police with a description of the suspect, from which the sketch was created.
Tehama County Sheriff Dave Hencratt confirmed Tuesday that detectives are looking at tire prints in the parking lot. Sheriff Hencratt told reporter Rich Greene of the Red Bluff Daily News that a large part of the investigation right now is reaching out to those who frequent the area to determine if they saw anything unusual in the area in recent days, with a focus on vehicles.
Police have been unwilling to confirm any details of what transpired during the robbery.
Sheriff Hencratt responded to emails from some Vineyard residents asking if Tehama County is too small to handle the investigation.
Sheriff Hencratt said his department had handled these types of investigations in the past. “I would put our guys up against anybody’s,” Mr. Hencratt said. He said he would not hesitate to ask for help if he thinks it is needed.
The sheriff said he had no idea why the reward amount was set at $1,500. He said that while he is not opposed to Islanders adding to the reward, the amount set was not tied to a budgetary issue. He added that he could not reveal everything that the investigation has turned up.
Wednesday evening the Tehama Sheriff’s office raised the reward to $5,000.
“We expect to catch him,” Sheriff Hencratt said.