KERN COUNTY, Calif. — Through three months into the year, Kern County’s homicide count is already higher than it was during its deadliest year on record.
By April 1, 2021, there’s already been 29 killings, all outside prison walls and not involving law enforcement — with 3 recent deaths widening the gap between this year and last.
From late afternoon to the early evening, the Bakersfield Police Department and Kern County Sheriff’s Office responded to 3 separate incidents, with BPD making an arrest in one case.
35-year-old Jared Oliver faces a murder charge after a woman was found dead in a unit of the Saunders Park Villa at around 9:30 PM. Public records indicate the unit is owned by a family member, however BPD has not said if Oliver has any relation to the victim, and she has not been publicly identified. He’s due in court Tuesday afternoon.
About half an hour later, KCSO deputies were called to Cottonwood Road at Feliz Drive, where a man was fatally shot. But hours earlier, deputies were sent to an orchard in Wasco, on Western Avenue, where a man’s body was found with physical trauma. No suspect information has been released in either case.
The deadly afternoon came almost exactly two weeks from March 19, when both agencies launched investigations into 5 suspicious deaths in 3 cases, which could raise the toll higher once the coroner’s office releases its findings.