Nevada County jail inmate charged in homicide |

Nevada County jail inmate charged in homicide

Aaron Sullivan

A man who has been in custody since April on suspicion of vehicle theft and assault now is facing a murder charge in an unrelated case, authorities said.

Aaron Nicklaus Sullivan, 42, had been under investigation after detectives with the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit developed information in April regarding a possible homicide that had reportedly taken place in March 2019 at a rural property located in the 11000 block of Lime Kiln Road, according to a press release.

Detectives with the Major Crimes and Special Investigations units ultimately served a search warrant at the property where the homicide was believed to have occurred, sheriff’s spokesman Andrew Trygg stated in the release. More investigative leads were developed and a crime scene was located.

The scene was processed with the help of an anthropologist from the Chico State Human Identification Laboratory and human remains were uncovered, Trygg stated.

The remains had been burned in an effort to conceal the evidence. No further information was being released as to the cause of death, he added.

The victim was preliminarily identified as Nathan Alwin, 30, a transient who had been living in Nevada County for several months before his disappearance in March 2019. Before that, Alwin had lived in Oregon and Utah, Trygg said.

Sullivan and Alwin reportedly had only known each other for a day or two, Trygg said. He could not provide more information as to what Alwin was doing in Nevada County prior to his death, but said no one had reported him missing.

Earlier this week, the California Department of Justice DNA Laboratory confirmed through a DNA match that the remains located belonged to Alwin. Through continued work by sheriff’s detectives and investigators with the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office, Sullivan was identified as the suspect, he added.

Sullivan has been incarcerated in the Nevada County Jail on unrelated charges since April 23 and remained held Wednesday without bail, jail records state.

Sullivan already was facing a charge of assault with a deadly weapon in connection with an incident that occurred in October, court records state. He also is suspected in the March theft of a truck from a Grass Valley business and has been charged with possessing a stolen vehicle in that case. That truck was reported to be on the Lime Kiln Road property and was located along with three other stolen vehicles when the search warrant was served at the property in April.

A criminal complaint has yet to be filed for the homicide, said Nevada County Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh. Anyone with additional information regarding Alwin’s death is encouraged to contact the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 530-265-1471.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

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