Watch CBS News

Elderly Woman Reported Missing In Tuolumne County Found Dead; 2 Men Who Took Her Camping Arrested

TWAIN HARTE (CBS13) — The death of an elderly woman who was originally reported missing in Tuolumne County has resulted in the arrest of two men on involuntary manslaughter charges.

On Monday, the Tuolumne County Sheriff says 60-year-old Twain Harte resident Russel Lee Hedge made a missing person report. Hedge told deputies that an elderly woman he had taken out camping along Herring Creek back on Dec. 3 had gone missing.

A search team immediately responded to the area the woman was last seen, but hours of looking came up empty.

The next morning, searchers went back out and found the woman dead.

Detectives took over the investigation due to the suspicious circumstances surrounding the incident. As they soon learned, the woman had been suffering from several ailments and was having trouble taking care of herself.

It's unclear why Hedge and another man, 51-year-old Twain Harte resident Timothy Scott Hoblitt, then took her out camping and allegedly left her without any way to leave.

Detectives believe Hedge and Hoblitt originally returned to the campsite the next day, knowing that temperatures overnight were freezing, but couldn't find her. Instead of calling for help right then and there, detectives say the pair then gathered her stuff and left.

The woman's stuff, including her purse and cell phone, were later found in Hedge's home after a search warrant was obtained.

Hedge and Hoblitt have now been arrested and are facing charges of involuntary manslaughter and elder abuse resulting in death.

Authorities have not yet released the name of the woman who died.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.