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Wisconsin Drifter Questioned in Campers' Slayings on Beach

August 25, 2004|Donna Horowitz | Special to The Times

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — Sonoma County sheriff's investigators were questioning a Wisconsin drifter Tuesday about the deaths of a couple camping in Jenner last week, but were not calling him a suspect.

Nicholas Scarseth resembles the description of a man who may have been seen in the coastal community when the couple were shot to death in their sleeping bags, authorities said.

Scarseth went to authorities Tuesday when he heard on the radio that they were trying to find him, the Sheriff's Department said.

Lindsay Cutshall, 23, and her fiance, Jason Allen, 26, were killed Aug. 15 or 16 as they slept on the beach. The Ohio couple were working this summer at a Christian camp northeast of Sacramento.

Fort Bragg police had contact with Scarseth, 21, of Chippewa Falls, Wis., on Friday before the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department had released a description of a man they wanted to talk to.

"What we're trying to do is contact everybody in the area," said Sonoma County Sheriff's Lt. Roger Rude. "He is one of many.... We are not focusing on any one suspect."

Sheriff's investigators also have been looking at cases of campers who were shot in other areas, including the deaths of a young couple in Arizona last October and the deaths of a couple outside Crescent City in 1988. Both those cases remain unsolved.

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