BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Gerald Heilman believes his 37-year-old son traveled from La Crescenta to Bakersfield in search of work.
The son, Jarred Charles Heilman, was an electrician. In the short time he was in Bakersfield, he lived in a trailer in a lot off Golden State Avenue.
Gerald Heilman, 58, doesn’t know much else about what his son was doing in Bakersfield.
He knows even less about his death.
Jarred Heilman died May 23 after being stabbed. Police found him in the area of Harrier Way and Lewis Puller Drive, along the west side of Mill Creek Canal.
Hours later, Terry William Turpin, was arrested. Convicted of prior violent crimes, Turpin has been charged with murder and is held on $1 million bail.
Gerald Heilman said he has no words to describe what he’d like to say to Turpin.
“If I can, I would like to be at his trial and look that man in the face, or I should saw coward,” he said.
Gerald Heilman said he lives in Oregon and lost touch with his son “for a while.” He said Jarred Heilman had been having difficulty dealing with the deaths of his mother and grandmother, both of whom died within the past four years.
He tried to convince his son to move to Oregon, but didn’t want to force the issue. He said Jarred Heilman lived in La Crescenta for about four years, where his grandmother lived. His mother lived in Burbank.
While not exactly sure when Jarred Heilman left for Bakersfield, Gerald Heilman said he’s found out his son had a temporary living arrangement in a trailer. His son loved to fish, and may have been doing some fishing while in town.
But Gerald Heilman said there are more questions than answers. He had never heard of Turpin until being informed that was the man arrested in his son’s death. He doesn’t know what started the altercation between the men, or why Turpin allegedly pulled a knife.
He described his son as a “very hardworking man, kind-hearted, would do anything for anyone.” He leaves behind a 10-year-old son who lives in Arizona.