Mendocino County Sheriff's Office
Press Release
(Title of Crime/Incident) Coroner's Investigation
Report Number:
2013-1353 UPDATE    
Coroner Number:
Coroner's Investigation
Fort Bragg, California
When: Date: 01-13-2013 Time: 1440 hours
Victim Info :        
  Name Age Street Address City, State
Victim #1: Colleen Murphy 63 Fort Bragg, California
Suspect Info:        
  Name Age Street Address City, State
Written by: Captain Greg Van Patten

On 01-13-2013 at 1440 hours a Deputy Sheriff was dispatched to contact a person who had reportedly discovered the presence of human skeletal remains near the city of Fort Bragg.

Upon contact the person said they had been hiking near the California Pacific Railroad approximately 2 miles east of the city of Fort Bragg when they discovered the remains.

The Deputy Sheriff responded to the location the person described and confirmed the presence of human skeletal remains.

Sheriff's Detectives were summoned to the scene and began further investigations.

At this time Detectives have reason to believe the remains are of a missing person that appeared to have disappeared voluntarily within the last few months from the Fort Bragg area.

The identity of the missing person is being withheld pending positive identification of the skeletal remains.

Detectives are currently following up on workable leads in an attempt to make a positive identification of the skeletal remains.


On 01-23-2013 the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Coroner's Division identified the skeletal remains as being that of Colleen Murphy.

On 11-01-2012 the Fort Bragg Police Department was contacted by one of Murphy's employees who worked at her Fort Bragg business. The employee reported Murphy as being a missing person with her last date of known contact being 10-28-2012.

At the time of Murphy’s disappearance she was noted to be despondent for various reasons and no evidence of foul play was attributed to her disappearance during the missing person’s investigation.

The results of the investigation conducted by Sheriff's Detectives were forwarded to the Chief Deputy Coroner. Based upon the information collected during the investigation the Chief Deputy Coroner has classified Murphy's death as being a suicide as a result of a gunshot wound.
Approved By: Captain Greg Van Patten