Crime - Sacto 911

Man found stabbed in neck, friend burned to death in Plumas forest, authorities say

A camping trip turned macabre over the weekend after police found a 23-year-old Oakland man alive with a stab wound to the neck in a Plumas County forest near his 20-year-old friend, who was burned beyond recognition in a forest fire near Bucks Lake, sheriff’s officials said Sunday.

Sheldon Nicholas Steward was arrested Saturday night on suspicion of homicide and flown with a non-life-threatening injury to Enloe Medical Center in Chico, said Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood. Steward provided information to district attorney investigators that resulted in his arrest, Hagwood said.

The Plumas County Sheriff’s Office received a call at about 3 a.m. Saturday about a forest fire on the shore of Bucks Lake, Hagwood said. Fire personnel responded and upon arrival found Steward with a stab wound to his neck at the edge of the fire. While putting out the fire, they found severely burned human remains.

Steward is due to be released from the hospital by Monday morning and taken to the Plumas County jail to be booked on a count of homicide, Hagwood said. Due to the fire’s intensity, investigators were unable to positively identify the victim, but believe they know his identity and are withholding it until dental records or DNA samples are confirmed.

The Washoe County Coroner’s Office will perform an autopsy of the victim along with further analysis for the cause of death, Hagwood said.

Jennifer Crane: 916-321-1161, @Jenn_Crane