Crime - Sacto 911

Guilty verdict in death of man buried in Rio Linda field

William Patrick Olsem — who also used the last name Olsen — was convicted April 5, 2016 in the death of Larry Edward Lillard, whose body was found in a field in Rio Linda in 2013.
William Patrick Olsem — who also used the last name Olsen — was convicted April 5, 2016 in the death of Larry Edward Lillard, whose body was found in a field in Rio Linda in 2013.

A Rio Linda man has been convicted in the death a man whose body was found buried in a field in 2013.

A Sacramento County jury this week found 49-year-old William Patrick Olsem, also known as William Patrick Olsen, guilty of first-degree murder. Jurors also found that Olsem used a deadly weapon in killing 69-year-old Larry Edward Lillard✔ of Wheatland, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office news release.

On May 1, 2013, an unidentified woman contacted law enforcement authorities to report a murder that she said had been committed in 2012. She stated that the body was buried near Olsem’s backyard.

The tip led the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department to search a field in the 7500 block of 34th Street in Rio Linda, where search and rescue dogs alerted them to the grave. The Sheriff’s Department, with the help of the District Attorney’s Crime Lab, excavated the grave. Authorities reported that Lillard had been hog-tied with four ligatures around his neck.

Sheriff’s officials said at the time that it appeared Lillard had been dead for several months. He had been reported missing from Wheatland earlier in the year. Detectives said Lillard and Olsem were not related but had known each other for many years

The motive for the murder, according to the District Attorney’s Office, was Lillard’s $18,000 motor home and his monthly Supplemental Security Income benefits, which were automatically deposited into Lillard’s bank account. Authorities said Olsem sold the motor home and used the bank card after the murder.

Olsem is to be sentenced May 20 by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Patrick Marlette.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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