The man arrested in connection with the deaths of two women in Colusa County is facing two first degree murder charges.
According to the Colusa County District Attorney’s Office, Martin Ehrke, 49, was appointed a public defender and arraigned at 2 p.m. on Friday.
Brenda Winn, DA senior legal secretary, said this was just the first arraignment hearing and Ehrke will enter in a plea at his next court date, which is scheduled for Feb. 7 at 8:30 a.m. at the Colusa Superior Court.
Kimberly Lynn Taylor, 39, and Jessica Lynn Mazak, 25, were found dead on an Arbuckle farm Thursday. Sheriff’s deputies detained Ehrke later that day for questioning and then arrested him in connection with the deaths of both women.
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A Sheriff’s Office news release said Taylor and Mazak were known to reside on the Arbuckle property where their bodies were found. Sheriff deputies discovered Taylor’s body stuffed into a chest freezer in a bedroom of an attached residence, while Mazak was found later submerged in a pond on the property by a dive team.
The cause of death has not yet been determined, pending a coroner’s autopsy, said Lt. Mark Contreras.
While Mazak and Taylor lived on the property, both women did not have a relationship with the owners, according to the news release.
About 3:55 a.m. Thursday, Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived at a residence in the 6000 block of Hillgate Road after a report of suspicious circumstances, according to a department news release. They found evidence of a crime scene and a woman in the freezer, then served a search warrant of the entire farm about 10 a.m., uncovering the second victim with the help of a dive team.
Investigators also found an illegal marijuana grow and narcotics on the property, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Anyone who has information about the incident is asked to contact Sgt. Jose Ruiz or Detective Marvin Garibay at 530-458-0200.