Detectives investigating the murder of Patrick Michael Weber, a Santa Clarita Valley man found dead inside his van three months ago, released a photo Friday of the man they’re calling a person of interest.
Weber, 41, was found dead inside his white 2014 Sprinter van shortly after 7 a.m. on Feb. 21, off the roadway on Highway 20.
The van, traveling eastbound, left the roadway and went into a ditch, crashing into a tree, about a mile west of Walker Ridge Road.
Lake County CHP officers responded, they said, to what was initially thought to be a solo-vehicle traffic collision resulting in a single fatality.
During the course of their investigation, they learned Weber died from a gunshot wound.
CHP investigators have since discovered a person of interest and a vehicle associated with this case, CHP officers announced in a news release issued Thursday.
Investigators are now the public’s help in identifying this person and the vehicle.
The “person of interest” is believed to be a white man in his 20s or 30s, 5-foot-8 to 6-feet tall and about 160 pounds.
The vehicle is believed to be a late-1990s or early-2000s tan- or gold-colored Dodge Durango.
One of CHP investigators’ first clues that it was more than a crash was red paint transfer marks to the driver’s side of the vehicle.
When asked about motive, Officer Joel Skeen of the California Highway Patrol in Clear Lake said in February: “We’re looking into a number of different scenarios.”
He added: “We’re keeping our investigation in a wide mode.”
One aspect of the police probe is expected to focus on Weber’s business, he added.
Elizabeth Larson, editor of The Lake County News, reported in the newspaper that Weber worked in the cannabis industry.
Larson also reported that Weber’s van contained a large amount of marijuana in the cargo area, and that he was not legally licensed to transport marijuana, according to the California Department of Cannabis Control.
CHP Officer J. Hoberg who investigated the fatal crash, wrote in his report: “The vehicle traveled south of the highway and collided into a tree. They approached the vehicle and discovered a sole male occupant, later identified as Patrick Weber, who was deceased in the driver’s seat.”
Members of the CHP’s Northern Division Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team were also called in to investigate the crash.
Anyone with information regarding the person of interest or the vehicle can contact the California Highway Patrol. Please contact the Ukiah Communications Center at 707-467-4000, 24 hours a day for any information pertaining to this case.