Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Tragedy compounded
Thirty-three year old Cleatous Ray Hantz died of a single gunshot wound to the head before his Eureka home exploded in flames last week, investigators said.

A gun was found near Hantz' body, which was lying on the living room floor of the Glen Street residence, by firefighters responding to the early morning blaze, said Eureka Police Chief Garr Nielsen. It's not clear if the gunshot wound was self-inflicted, Nielsen said.

The incident remains classified as a suspicious death, he said.

Humboldt County Deputy Coroner Ray Horton said it appears that the gun, a .380-caliber handgun, was placed into Hantz' mouth. There was a bullet entrance wound at the back of the throat, Horton said, and a bullet was found lodged in his brain.

Horton said it appears that Hantz was dead at the time of the explosion and fire, and had not inhaled any smoke. Horton added that it's impossible to know how soon before the blast he died.

”From my perspective and from what I know about the case,” Horton said, “I would say that this is a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.”...

Man in Eureka explosion reportedly died of gunshot wound
Compounding the pain
Authorities seek cause of fatal home explosion
Officials search for cause of fatal home explosion
Powerful explosion kills Eureka man


  1. That's three this week. One in Orick, kid from MHS and this.

    The community here is reeling. Kids are crying and worse, they are blaming another kid which is grotesquely unfair and wrong.

  2. A suicide? You blow your brains out and then blow your place to pieces? Does this make sense?

  3. I guess the theory would be that the gas was turned on, and that something, either the flash from the gun firing, or something else, a spark of some kind, like maybe the thermostat kicking on, triggered an explosion.

    Lots of questions, and no answers, sounds like they are still trying to figure it out.

  4. Sounds more like a cold blooded execution, after which the murderer blew up the house to cover his tracks.


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