Backyard body case update: third suspect arrested

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Update: Bakersfield Police have arrested the third suspect wanted in connection with the discovery of a man’s body in the backyard of a southwest Bakersfield home last month.

David Williams was booked into the Kern County Jail Thursday morning for involuntary manslaughter, possessing a narcotic controlled substance for sale, conspiring to commit a crime, and destroying evidence. 

Kailee Shianne Morrison and Dennis Marroquin were also arrested and charged in connection to the case. 

Court documents show the trio burned Joseph Lara’s body before burying him in the backyard of a home on Hathaway Ave on Jan. 23.

Williams is due in court on Monday.

Morrison and Marroquin have pleaded not guilty to felony charges of accessory and conspiring to commit a crime. They are both due back in court next month.


A woman has been arrested and charged in connection to the discovery of a man’s body in the back yard of a Southwest Bakersfield home last week. Bakersfield Police now say a third suspect is wanted.

The body of Joseph Lara, 21, who had been missing for two weeks, was found in the back yard of a home on Hathaway Avenue on the morning of Jan. 23, according to Bakersfield Police.

Dennis Marroquin, 25, was arrested and formally charged in court last week for accessory and conspiracy.

Kailee Shianne Morrison, 22, was arrested Monday, according to Bakersfield Police. 

Morrison pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony charges including being an accessory, conspiracy, and being in possession of a controlled a substance.

On Wednesday, Bakersfield Police obtained a felony arrest warrant for David Williams, 30, for his role in the offense.

Marroquin allegedly admitted to officers he burned and buried Lara’s body after Lara accidentally died from a drug overdose. Marroquin also said he wasn’t alone in his crimes.

The probable cause for Morrison’s case shows Morrison and her boyfriend, who was not identified in the report, also helped Marroquin burn Lara’s body before burying him. 

While the documents for Morrison’s case don’t name her boyfriend, in Marroquin’s court documents, he allegedly told police Lara died at the home of David Williams and that Williams helped dispose of the body. Williams has not been charged and is not in custody.

The new documents also allege Morrison acted as an accessory by helping her boyfriend flee from Bakersfield. She also allegedly told a witness she cleaned up the crime scene, according to the documents. 

The coroner’s office has not released Lara’s cause of death. 

Marroquin and Morrison are both due back in court next month.

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