Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Tragedy in Eureka: Eureka Pastor Eric Freed murdered. UPDATED Suspect Bullock Apprehended in SoHum

Beloved Eureka priest killed in St. Bernard Church rectory - ◼ Times-Standard

Mourners are gathering outside St. Bernard Church in Eureka, where the Rev. Eric Freed was found dead in the rectory this morning. The EPD confirms it is conducting a murder investigation. No suspect has been arrested.

St. Bernard's Pastor Killed Overnight in Church Rectory - ◼ Grant Scott-Goforth/The Journal
Murder in the St. Bernard’s Rectory This Morning; Victim is Reportedly Father Eric Freed (VIDEO) - ◼ Kym Kemp/Lost Coast Outpost

EPD says this is a murder investigation - ◼ News Channel 3

UPDATE: ◼ EPD Seeks Vehicle Thought To Be Related to Today’s Homicide The Eureka Police Department is seeking the publics assistance in locating a vehicle associated with the homicide, which occurred at St. Bernard’s Rectory on 1-1-2014. (images from Lost Coast Outpost)

The vehicle is described as a dark grey Nissan Altima Hybrid, bearing California license plate 6NDW400.

The Eureka Police Department requests that if the public has information regarding the vehicle’s whereabouts or if the vehicle is located, do not approach the vehicle, and contact the Eureka Police Department Communications Center at 707-441-4044.

Update: The vehicle being sought in connection to the killing of St. Bernard Parish Pastor Eric Freed belonged to him.

EPD is seeking the public’s assistance in locating Freed’s vehicle, a gray Nissan Altima Hybrid, license plate 6NDW400. EPD Chief Andrew Mills said it’s unclear when the vehicle was last seen or if it was at St. Bernard Church prior to Freed’s death, but the department is warning anyone who may see the vehicle not to approach it and to instead call police.

A Tragic New Year’s Day: Images From the St. Bernard’s Crime Scene - Andrew Goff/Lost Coast Outpost
Intruder at Sacred Heart Catholic Church Today - Kym Kemp/Lost Coast Outpost

According to Lt. Steve Knight of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department, the caretaker of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Myrtle was confronted by an intruder today inside the building today around 2 P.M. The woman stopped by to check on the grounds and spotted a bicycle inside the building.

She opened the door and went into the dark interior. A man, approximately 6 foot tall wearing dark clothing including a sweatshirt and a beanie or a hat, began to move towards her. She retreated behind another door and called 911. She was not injured or confronted further. The man fled left the scene and has not been found.

Lt. Knight said that there was nothing to indicate a connection with the murder of Fr. Eric Freed but neither is his office ruling out the possibility. Deputies have been asked to keep an eye on all churches at this time—”especially,” Knight said, the “Catholic churches.”

(UPDATING) Live at the Freed Murder Investigation Press Conference

UPDATE, 10:51 a.m.: The Lost Coast Outpost‘s Hank Sims will be feeding us updates from EPD headquarters where they are preparing to begin this morning’s press conference. He notes that representatives from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office are in attendance and that a large mugshot is displayed in the front of the room....

UPDATE, 11:14 a.m.: An arrest warrant has been issued for Gary Lee Bullock, last known residence Redway. They believe Bullock may be in possession of the car we featured on LoCO yesterday.

EPD announces arrest warrant for murder of Father Eric Freed. Suspect is Gary Lee Bullock.Released from jail at 12:34 am Jan. 1. and matches description of man seen around church that night. Chief Mills said there were signs of a violent struggle at the rectory

Freed Murder Case Suspect Bullock Apprehended in SoHum - Andrew Goff/Lost Coast Outpost
Second update: suspect Gary Lee Bullock arrested near Garberville - Times-Standard

Note: There's good coverage of this - and other breaking news - at each of the news outlets above - if you're trying to get information, I recommend you follow them on Facebook, and bookmark their webpages. I linked their names to their Facebook pages, so just click there. The article links, of course, link to the articles on their webapges.


  1. This is just awful. My heart goes out to everyone who knew him and our little community. Ugh.

  2. We've had two churches burned to the ground recently here, ours on Thanksgiving morning, and a second one a week later, also in the early morning. We were fortunate that nobody was killed in either fire. Investigations are under way, and at the moment, we don't have any further information but needless to say, people are more than a little suspicious about the timing and the fact that both churches were totally engulfed in flames by the time the firefighters arrived...

    I hope they get to the bottom of this murder. What kind of people do these awful things?

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Someone murdered this man of service in his community in his home and a coward writes anonymously about molestation. You just molested this man, his family, and his community. You raped them anonymously. You have no shame, only hatred in your heart. You attacked a dead man who cannot defend himself. You attacked a grieving people. You tarded and feathed innocent people who did nothing wrong to satisfy your own personal demons and prejudice against the Church. It doesn't matter to you if this priest did anything wrong or not, or this Catholics are further hurt by your comments or not. We're all guilty by your reasoning because we're Catholics, and you know what? We don't care what you think of us. We don't need your approval...we need Jesus Christ and His Church.

  4. No, sorry, but I seriously doubt that these people you call "molesters" burnt their own churches down you moron. I'm guessing it was some nasty, bitter hater like you ...

    Thanks for chiming in though. Once again, you've served to illustrate the complete and utter failure of our public educational system and renewed my desire to avoid contact with people like you.

  5. Jimmy, and Highlander - you are right. The hate that has been spewing on all the local blogs, as soon as this murder was reported has been so disheartening.

    People have said we need to remove these comments immediately, and not give them a forum. But it's revealing as to the mindset that's out there. So much hate.

    But on the other side - so much love, and so much goodness. The outpouring of love and support that is the true shape of the community - that's something we have to remember.

  6. Jimmy, you have no idea how vile and hate-filled this particular person is. After dealing with him for a couple of years now, and trying repeatedly to foster some sense of decency and tolerance in him, I've finally concluded that he's beyond hope. I have no idea why he hates like he does, or what happened to make him see life the way he sees it, but he's apparently been living immersed in his own little personal hell for so long now that he's no longer interested in happiness or salvation.

    I did everything I could to reason with him, and I really hated to give up on him, but sometimes you just have to cut your losses and move on ...

  7. I know Gary or did years ago and I find this story totally bizarre, not in Gary's character at all when I knew him.

  8. Sounds like something was really wrong, Stephen - they said essentially 'drunk in public' but then so agitated that the jail wouldn't take him. Nothing showed up on tests, it seems, so they had to release him - but something was wrong.


  9. How are the SoHUm folks taking it?

  10. I spoke with my kids, they grew up with Gary, and they're numb, both haven't been in contact with Gary for years. My daughter, the good born-again, is already laying blame on us hippie parents which holds too much truth to ignore as typical offspring parental criticism (that never ends, btw..thank God for grandchildren!)

    I knew Gary as a screwball teenager and this story now tells me there's a big chunk of time that has passed in my kid's generation, they're all middle-aged now, and don't know who they've become.


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