Murder, hit and run 'person of interest' named; Jason Warren is in custody on warrant


The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday named Jason Anthony Warren as a person of interest in the murder of a Hoopa woman and last week's hit and run that killed a mother of two and severely injured two others on Myrtle Avenue.

”We decided it was time today to come forward and put as much of that guess work to rest as possible,” Sheriff Mike Downey said. “Our main goal right now is not jeopardizing the case at hand.”

Warren, 28, has not been charged in the two cases. At the time of the murder and hit and run, he was wanted for failing to show up to his sentencing on an assault charge. Warren was arrested in Eureka on a warrant Thursday, the same afternoon as the early morning hit and run.

Downey said the sheriff's office is working to build “a strong nexus” between the two incidents in order to bring a prosecutable case before the District Attorney's Office.

HSU geography instructor Suzanne Seemann -- the mother of two young children and wife of Humboldt County official Hank Seemann -- was struck in the hit-and-run crash and died at the scene. Eureka residents Jessica Hunt, 41, and Terri Vroman-Little, 50, were severely injured.

St. Joseph Hospital spokeswoman Leslie Broomall said Vroman-Little was in stable and good condition and Hunt remained in stable condition.

The hit and run investigation led the CHP to Hoopa resident Dorothy Ulrich, 47, who was found dead in her residence later Thursday morning. She had borrowed the 2005 Kia Spectra from its owner and was seen with Warren last Wednesday, according to her sister-in-law Maria Ulrich, who said she found Dorothy Ulrich's body.

Maria Ulrich, who lives across the street, said the CHP and Hoopa Valley Tribal Police were already at the house when she opened the door.

The time and cause of Dorothy Ulrich's death have not been released. The sheriff's office declined to comment on any connection between Ulrich and Warren or a motive for her killing.

Warren failed to show up for a Sept. 7 court date after entering into a plea deal to serve six years in prison for assault with a deadly weapon after he was arrested in April for robbery.

He was released on a Cruz waiver, which is part of a plea agreement that has a defendant agree to have a greater sentence imposed for failing to appear at sentencing. Warren faced nine years for failing to appear.

”He was released prior to sentencing on the Cruz waiver, pursuant to the plea agreement,” said Deputy District Attorney Zachary Curtis in an email. “It is fairly common to release a defendant with something over his head to try to encourage good behavior, usually with probation cases.”

Warren had a previous felony that counted as a strike on his record. He also has a juvenile criminal record.

Downey said there is no opportunity for Warren to be released anytime soon.

”That is another reason we felt confident not releasing any other information,” he said. “We felt there was no jeopardy to the community.”

Downey said the sheriff's office is not seeking any other suspects.

Maria Ulrich said Dorothy Ulrich was a housewife. Her husband is a truck driver.

”She wasn't feeling that great lately,” Maria Ulrich said. “She's worked odd jobs. They live across the street from me. She wasn't trying to cause any trouble.”

Dorothy Ulrich moved to Hoopa in 1998 and is the mother of a son, according to her Facebook page.

Luke Ramseth contributed to this report.