Suspect arrested for murder of missing Vietnam veteran Stan Norman
May 27, 2018
On Sunday night, law enforcement arrested Sean Bryant — the man last seen with missing veteran Stan Norman — for his murder.
Bryant has been in custody in county jail since mid-May, when he was arrested at a residence on Sadie D Drive in Cascade Shores. At the time, Bryant, 51, was charged with manufacturing a controlled substance, threatening a crime with the intent to terrorize and inflicting corporal injury, all felonies.
After human bones were discovered in a burn pile on the property, and after interviews with witnesses, Bryant was re-booked on charges of murder and torture, and likely will be arraigned Tuesday in Nevada County Superior Court.
Norman was last seen after he went with friends to McGee's in Nevada City April 14 and was positively identified at Bonanza Market in Nevada City that night. He then reportedly went to Bryant's home in Grass Valley. No one reported seeing him since the early hours of April 15.
On May 4, Norman's Hummer was spotted in the Chalk Bluff/Red Dog area. A preliminary search was conducted that day, and the California Department of Justice was called to process the vehicle.
But despite two extensive multi-agency searches on May 5 and May 8, there was no sign of Norman or his toy apricot poodle, KoKo.
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Bryant confirmed during multiple interviews that he was the last person to see Norman, said Nevada County Sheriff's Sgt. Bob Jakobs.
Major Crimes detectives began focusing on Bryant after Norman's Hummer was located.
"Evidence was found that suggested it was likely to be a homicide instead of a missing persons case," Jakobs said.
Bryant's cell phone records were seized and reportedly were inconsistent with his statement. He had told investigators that he and Norman drank heavily into the early morning and that he passed out around sunrise.
"He said that when he woke up in the afternoon, Stan and the Hummer were gone," Jakobs said. "But the phone records show that he and Stan left Grass Valley together."
Surveillance led detectives to serve the search warrant on the Cascade Shores residence, as well as two other residences in Grass Valley, Jakobs said.
"Human bones were found in a burn pile in the yard" at the Sadie D residence, he said, adding they were sent to the human ID lab in Chico and have been confirmed as human. They will be sent to the state Department of Justice for DNA analysis, but they are suspected to be Norman's.
Other individuals were interviewed and witnesses said that Norman was assaulted and murdered at the Sadie D residence, Jakobs said, adding that Bryant was charged with torture because of the protracted nature of the assault.
He is being held without bail.
Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.