Body ID'd: Process to identify the body took months because of DNA testing – The Union of Grass Valley

Few details have emerged since police began investigating two Nevada City homicides in mid-June, although authorities have confirmed a positive identification for a deceased victim in one of the cases.

On Monday, the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office announced that it had confirmed the identity of a man whose body was located on June 19 at a remote property on the 26000 block of North Bloomfield Road. Prosecutors allege that the deceased male in this case, Raul Iturralde, 43, was murdered by Russell Harvey Rippetoe, 57, about one week prior to the discovery of Iturralde’s body.

Rippetoe has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder charge against him.

In a separate homicide investigation, authorities have not released any further information in nearly three months regarding the purported murder of a United Kingdom man, Jessic Clayton Robiere, 30, whom investigators say was shot to death at a residence on Bodie Ridge Road sometime around June 16. Zachery Isaiah Minissale, 34, who is deceased, has been named as a murder suspect in that investigation.

Rippetoe was arrested on suspicion of murder two days before the discovery of Iturralde’s body, and remained in custody Tuesday at the Nevada County Jail.

While prosecutors named Iturralde as the suspected homicide victim in court documents filed June 22, the Sheriff’s Office did not officially confirm the deceased male whose body was found at the North Bloomfield Road address as Iturralde until this week. The process of identifying the body took several months due to the need to confirm who Iturralde was through DNA testing.

The Sheriff’s Office has said Rippetoe was arrested after it received a tip from an anonymous individual that led deputies to believe Rippetoe may have killed Iturralde following an altercation of some sort between the two men.

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