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April 24, 2013
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Deceased Beale AFB Airman identified as Lake Wildwood resident

The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a Beale Air Force Base airman at her home, the second such incident this month.

Master Sgt. Rachel Bell, 41, was found dead at her Lake Wildwood residence Monday evening.

As of Wednesday, Bell’s death remained under investigation, said Sheriff’s Lt. Steve Tripp.

“We’re still trying to determine the manner and cause,” he said. “It’s not as open and shut as we first thought … We’re taking a closer look.”

The case is currently under investigation by the Major Crimes Unit, Tripp said.

Bell, whose home of record is Chico, was assigned to the 9th Operations Support Squadron as the superintendent of the intelligence section.

Another Beale airman was found dead April 5 at a Yuba City residence.

An official cause of death has not yet been determined, said Beale Air Force Base Sgt. Eric Petosky. But the base spokesman stressed there was no connection between the two deaths or that of an airman killed in a crash in November.

“There’s no relation between any of these except they were all airmen,” he said. “It’s just tragic whenever we lose someone.”

Michael Anthony Gabany, 25, was found dead in his bedroom in Yuba City after a co-worker reported him missing.

There were no signs of foul play, but the cause of death was not clear, a spokesman said at the time.

According to Petosky, the Yuba County coroner said this week that Gabany’s cause of death still was undetermined, and it probably would take four to six months for the final report.

Earlier this year, in January, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur was found dead of a gunshot wound outside Beale. According to officials at the Air Force Office of Special Investigation, no foul play was involved.

Gary D. Conley, 52, was discovered by a Beale resident outside a parked car near the Vassar Lake Gate with a gun in close proximity.

In November of last year, a 41-year-old airman was found dead of injuries sustained in a single-vehicle traffic accident. Ayaz “Neil” Ali, stationed with the U.S. Air Force in Georgia but visiting Northern California, was first reported as missing, but his crashed vehicle was found at the intersection of Wild Turkey Lane and Highway 20 by Caltrans workers.

To contact Senior Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.

““We’re still trying to determine the manner and cause. It’s not as open and shut as we first thought … We’re taking a closer look.”

— Nevada County Sheriff’s Lt. Steve Tripp


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The Union Updated Apr 25, 2013 11:15AM Published Apr 30, 2013 09:59AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.