Suspect arrested in Spencer Hodgson murder case

SISKIYOU COUNTY, Calif. – A breakthrough in a Siskiyou County murder case has led to the arrest of a suspect.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office says after nine months of investigation into the murder of 31-year-old Spencer Richard Hodgson, they may now have their man. On Wednesday it was announced that 22-year-old Timothy Chase McDonald of Yreka had been arrested.

Last April, Hodgson was found dead in a ravine near the small town of Klamath River – just an hour north of Yreka. His death was ruled a homicide but months passed with no leads for detectives. After nine months there were few clues, so police put up a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

According to Sheriff Jon Lopey, a recent tip came in that ultimately led them to their suspect.

“At this juncture, it’s really unclear what the motivation was for the information,” he said. While it’s unclear what brought the tipster forward, Lopey says if they continue to cooperate they could be viable for a piece or whole of the reward.

Investigators continued to dig after receiving the new information, finding probable cause and received the green light from the district attorney’s office to make an arrest. On Tuesday night around 10 p.m., McDonald was arrested and housed at the Siskiyou County Jail for one count of murder.

While the tip led to McDonald’s arrest and probable cause was found, Sheriff Lopey said they could not comment on the connection between McDonald and Hodgson at this time.

“Really delves heavily into the investigative case and I really can’t divulge that information right now,” he said.

An autopsy in April showed Hodgson died from gunshot wounds. Though police have yet to find the murder weapon, they’ve got the lead they’ve been waiting for.

“The arrest was just a major break in the case,” said Sheriff Lopey. “We still have things to do.”

McDonald is scheduled to be arraigned in the coming days on one count of murder. His bail has been set at $1 million.

NBC5 News reached out to the Hodgson family for a statement. They said they were still processing this new information and declined to comment at this time.

The sheriff’s office is still gathering information and ask anyone with more on this case to call the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office at (530) 842-8318 and refer to SCSO Case Number 1-19-0547.


A man was arrested in connection with a Siskiyou County murder case.

On April 8, 2019, a man’s body was found in a ravine northwest of Yreka near the Klamath River. The man was later identified as 31-year-old Spencer Richard Hodgson, a resident of the Klamath River area.

Detectives said Hodgson died from gunshot wounds.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office eventually announced an award of up to $50,000 for information in the case.

On January 7, 2020, 22-year-old Timothy Chase McDonald of Yreka was arrested and charged with murdering Hodgson.

This is a breaking story. NBC5 News will update this story when more information becomes available.

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