1.08.2010

TS - Authorities believe they have found the body of missing McKinleyville woman

Authorities believe they have found the body of missing McKinleyville woman

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Authorities believe they have recovered the body of Monica Bradshaw, a 53-year-old McKinleyville woman whose husband of 30 years stands accused of her murder.

Chief Investigator Mike Hislop of the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office said a joint recovery effort by his office and the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office on Thursday in a wooded area outside McKinleyville was fruitful, and that investigators unearthed a body believed to be Bradshaw.

”I would say that the search was very successful,” Hislop said. “The DA's Office worked hand-in-hand with Sheriff's Office personnel in a coordinated effort. It was a team effort and it went very well.”

Hislop said the Humboldt County Coroner's Office has taken control of the body, and that a positive identification likely won't be made for some time.

Bradshaw was last seen sometime in late summer 2008 by neighbors when she and her husband, Robin Bradshaw, set off to bury a neighbor's dead horse. She was never reported missing. The couple lived in Dow's Prairie.

Robin Bradshaw was arrested June 12, and has pleaded not guilty to the single murder charge he faces. He remains in Humboldt County jail, held on $1 million bail.

District Attorney Paul Gallegos said shortly after Robin Bradshaw's arrest that he believed there was enough evidence to try him even without a body.

”His wife is a missing person, and we believe that the compelling evidence we have indicates that she is missing because she is dead, and that Mr. Bradshaw buried her at some currently undisclosed location,” Gallegos said at the time.

Authorities now believe that location was a forested area on Fieldbrook Road, just outside McKinleyville. Late Thursday, a gate on the north side of the street was marked with police tape, and a number of vehicles were parked by the roadway. The site is less than three miles from where the couple lived.

Hislop declined to discuss the details of the search, but said more information would likely be made available in the coming days.

In the months preceding Robin Bradshaw's arrest, several search warrants were served on the couple's property and other locations. In January 2008, authorities used an excavator to dig up parts of the couple's property, and investigators seized financial records, a computer, medications, receipts, handwritten notes and a can of Campbell's soup from the couple's residence, as well as several items from the backyard.

According to a search warrant affidavit, an insurance adjuster for Capital Insurance Group in Ferndale first contacted the Sheriff's Office about Monica Bradshaw's disappearance.

The adjuster became suspicious when a person claiming to be Monica Bradshaw -- but sounding like her husband -- tried to submit a claim on her car, which had been stolen and recovered.

The affidavit said that Robin Bradshaw went to the tow yard with a woman, later identified as his 31-year-old girlfriend, who claimed to be Monica Bradshaw and allegedly signed the vehicle release form with her name.

A follow-up call from the adjuster was answered by a woman who reportedly said that Monica Bradshaw had died.

Neighbors have told the Times-Standard that Robin Bradshaw offered conflicting accounts of his wife's disappearance.
When contacted by investigators, Robin Bradshaw was reportedly unable to produce a photograph of his wife, whom he said did not like to be photographed.

Court documents also state that two people close to Robin Bradshaw have told authorities that he made confessions to them about the crime, and that he said it was an act of self-defense.

One of the individuals told investigators that Robin Bradshaw said his wife attacked him with a crowbar. Robin Bradshaw reportedly then told the person that he was able to wrestle the crowbar away from his wife, and then hit her over the head with it, causing her to fall into the bathtub. According to the affidavit, Robin Bradshaw reportedly said he then hit his wife twice more, once in the head and once in the shoulder.

The person further told investigators, according to the affidavit, that Robin Bradshaw confessed to first burying his wife in a shallow grave in the backyard of his home, only to later dig her body up and bury it on an undeveloped Danco subdivision off of Fieldbrook Road in McKinleyville.


Thadeus Greenson can be reached at 441-0509 or tgreenson@times-standard.com.
Thadeus Greenson/The Times-Standard
Posted: 01/08/2010 01:30:18 AM PST
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PREVIOUSLY:
DA's office (Paul Gallegos) still undecided in Bradshaw case; Gallegos to talk to pathologist next week May 28, 2010
Bradshaw sentencing postponed, Gallegos "weighing" decision May 5, 2010
...Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos received Super's report last week, but has yet to decide how to proceed with the case. At Tuesday's hearing, Bradshaw's attorney, Peter Martin, said Gallegos had contacted him asking that the sentencing hearing be postponed.

”He wants more time, I believe, to review the medical report and to request supporting materials from the medical examiner,” Martin said....

”It's going to be something Paul's going to have to think about.” April 27, 2010
-- Bradshaw autopsy report with Humboldt County DA; indicates blunt force trauma as cause of death
Autopsy report coming in Bradshaw case; plea agreement hinges on results for McKinleyville man accused of wife's murder APRIL 24, 2010
Bradshaw positively identified; full autopsy report pending more test results FEBRUARY 01, 2010
Autopsy set for Sunday in Bradshaw case JANUARY 23, 2010
ANOTHER PLEA DEAL - Bradshaw agreed to give location of body in plea deal JANUARY 09, 2010
Robin Stuart Bradshaw entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors last month, agreeing to disclose the location of his wife's body and plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter, court records show.
Authorities believe they have found the body of missing McKinleyville woman JANUARY 08, 2010
The person further told investigators, according to the affidavit, that Robin Bradshaw confessed to first burying his wife in a shallow grave in the backyard of his home, only to later dig her body up and bury it on an undeveloped Danco subdivision off of Fieldbrook Road in McKinleyville.
Hearing for McKinleyville murder case continued NOVEMBER 05, 2009
Bradshaw Prelim continued to Nov. 5 SEPTEMBER 30, 2009
Prelim for Robin Stuart Bradshaw JULY 07, 2009
Bradshaw pleads not guilty to murdering wife June 16, 2009
Robin Stuart Bradshaw, arrested JUNE 16, 2009
Second search warrant issued in missing woman case - and a request to seal documents January 29, 2009
Monica Bradshaw: MISSING January 27, 2009