Fort Bragg Spooked; 'Massive Manhunt' For Murder Suspect Continues

By Chris Roberts
|  Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011  |  Updated 2:31 PM PDT
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Fort Bragg Spooked; 'Massive Manhunt' For Murder Suspect Continues

Law enforcement agents from multiple agencies are scouring the rustic wooded lands near Fort Bragg for the suspect in the shooting death of a former city councilman over the weekend, putting the coastal resort town on edge.

Aaron Bassler, 35, is a transient with a history of legal and mental health issues. He is suspected of shooting and killing Jere Melo, a former Fort Bragg city councilman, after Melo stumbled upon an illegal marijuana grow Bassler had been tending on timber land on Saturday.

Some 30 officers are searching trails, woods and cabins for any sign of Bassler, and meanwhile warning the populace to be alert and aware of the transient, who is armed and dangerous, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

The shooting took place near the Skunk Train, a well-known local attraction, which restarted operations Tuesday despite the presence of a National Guard plane assisting in the search operations.

The searchers have deer season to contend with: hunters are populating the very trails that Bassler may be using to elude police.
 

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