Officials investigating 2 homicides |

Officials investigating 2 homicides

Nevada County authorities are investigating two homicides, both of which were reported in Nevada City within 48 hours of each other.

Investigators say they continued searching Friday for the body of a man they believe was killed by Russell Rippetoe, 57.

Rippetoe was arrested late Thursday on suspicion of homicide. He remained jailed Friday afternoon without bond, reports state.

The body is believed to be located somewhere around the property Rippetoe was arrested at on the 26000 block of North Bloomfield Road. Nevada County sheriff’s deputies are searching the premises with assistance from the California Department of Justice and other local agencies, a Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said.

In a separate investigation, authorities continue to investigate a slaying on the 13000 block of Bodie Ridge Road. At this residence, deputies found a deceased male who died from multiple gunshot wounds. This man remains unnamed by officials, but has been reported to be a citizen of the United Kingdom, and local authorities are in touch with officials at the UK consulate, according to sheriff’s Capt. Jeff Pettitt.

The alleged suspect in this case, who has not been named, is also believed to have shot a public works employee in Eureka County, Nevada, before dying from gunshot wounds following a vehicle pursuit by police. It is not clear yet whether the alleged shooter was killed by police or took his own life, reports state.

In a video posted Friday afternoon to the department’s Facebook page, Eureka County Sheriff Jesse Watts said his office would not release any information regarding the shooter, his motive, or the link to the Nevada City homicide until Monday.

No motives have been ascribed to either of the homicide suspects, except that Rippetoe is believed to have killed the other man after an argument between the two had escalated, according to sheriff’s Lt. Sean Scales.

Stephen Wyer is a staff writer with The Union. He can be reached at

Russell Rippetoe

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User