Suspect in Gold Country hatchet murder is thought to be in Stockton


A woman sought in a Gold Country murder is thought to be in the Stockton area, and the Tuolumne County sheriff is asking for the public’s help in finding her.

Sabrina Starkweather
Sabrina Starkweather is a suspect in a murder March 15, 2023, in Tuolumne County, Calif. (Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office) 

Sabrina Starkweather, 28, has been a fugitive since shortly after Ben Lindsey, 63, was found slain in his home on March 15. His body was wrapped in a tarp secured with binder clips; an autopsy determined he had been bludgeoned with a hatchet.

Lindsey’s neighbor and tenant was Starkweather’s father, who had been allowing his daughter and her boyfriend to stay at his home in Big Hill, a rural community between Columbia and Twain Harte.

The father and the boyfriend were both arrested March 17 on suspicion of Lindsey’s murder.

It was Starkweather’s father who reportedly made the 911 call to say that Lindsey had not been seen for three days and his orange Jeep was missing, the Union Democrat said.

The woman’s boyfriend, who was found at a Reno hotel, told authorities he had last seen her being driven away in their Jeep by a carjacker outside a restaurant. The vehicle — Lindsey’s missing Jeep — was found abandoned in the parking lot of a Howard Johnson’s in Reno, the Union Democrat reported.

The search for Starkweather had been focused on Reno; the sheriff’s office did not say why she is now thought to be in Stockton. It asks that anyone with information on her whereabouts call the office’s non-emergency line at 209-533-5815. She is described as 5-foot-4 and 110 pounds.

The two other suspects are both scheduled to appear in court on June 6.

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