Crime - Sacto 911

Person of interest in Nevada County man’s death in custody

A man described by Nevada County sheriff’s officials as a person of interest in the death of 51-year-old Donald Mark Ormsby has been arrested in connection with an unrelated robbery.

Ormsby’s body was found decomposing under leaves and debris Monday in the 16000 block of Countrywood Lane northeast of Nevada City. The body was not buried and Ormsby, a Grass Valley resident, appeared to have been dead for several days based on the advanced state of decomposition, sheriff’s officials said.

Shortly after the investigation into Ormsby’s death began, the Sheriff’s Office determined that his vehicle was missing and issued a “be on the lookout” advisory to area law enforcement agencies. It was also determined that Christopher Lee Bancroft of Grass Valley might recently have been in possession of the vehicle, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.

About 1 a.m. Wednesday, Grass Valley police officers found Ormsby’s vehicle in the parking lot of the CVS store in the Brunswick Basin and found Bancroft seated inside the vehicle. Bancroft was detained and agreed to an interview with sheriff’s detectives. Following the interview, he was arrested on robbery charges stemming from an incident that reportedly occurred June 26 in Auburn. Sheriff’s officials said Bancroft is seen on video surveillance footage driving Ormsby’s vehicle.

Bancroft was transported from the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office to the Placer County jail, where he was booked on suspicion of felony robbery with bail set at $70,000.

The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office impounded Ormsby’s vehicle the night it was recovered and a search warrant has been obtained to search its contents. Sheriff’s officials said the search is expected to be conducted in the coming days. They said witness interviews are continuing and detectives are following up on leads.

Anyone with information relevant to the investigation is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office’s Major Crimes Unit at 530-265-1263.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy