Twenty-one-year-old Nicholas Scarseth contacted authorities after he found out through media reports that they were looking for him.
Sonoma County Sheriff's Department Lieutenant Dave Edmonds says Scarseth remains a — quote — "person of interest" in the case.
Scarseth has not been charged and authorities are not saying exactly what tip led them to question the young man from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.
Investigators say Scarseth was in the area about the time 23-year-old Lindsay Cutshall and 26-year-old Jason Allen were shot while they slept on a beach near Jenner.
Scarseth had been stopped on Friday by police in Fort Bragg — about 100 miles north of Jenner, where Cutshall and Allen were found shot through the head last week in their sleeping bags.
Fort Bragg Police Sgt. Rogelio Orozco said Scarseth was stopped because he was skateboarding downtown, which is prohibited. Officers ran Scarseth's name through a statewide database, which turned up nothing, Orozco said.
He said Scarseth was last seen at a Fort Bragg coffee shop Monday and is believed to have left the area.
Scarseth's mother, Karen, said her son has a drinking problem but is not violent.
"He's just roaming around," she said. "If he ran into those people (who were killed), he would have befriended them."
However, she also said her son harbors anger toward religious people.
"He brings up religion and politics to irritate people. He likes to stir people up," she said.
Cutshall, of Fresno, Ohio, and Allen, of Zeeland, Mich., were reported missing Aug. 16 after they failed to show up at a Christian adventure camp in Coloma, about 40 miles east of Sacramento.
Their bodies were discovered Wednesday.
Chippewa Falls Police Capt. Wayne Nehring said Scarseth was being sought on two misdemeanor warrants valid only in Wisconsin. One was for misdemeanor theft of a bottle of liquor and another was for disorderly conduct, he said.
Scarseth's mother said she heard from her son last week, when he phoned from California to say he had gotten a hotel room through a voucher from a "church woman."