Cal City PD ups the ante in unsolved homicides and missing person cases

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The small desert town of California City is upping the ante in their efforts to solve five homicides and two missing person cases.
   
California City Police now have rewards up to $10,000 in seven unsolved cases. Police and residents have said these cases haunt the high desert of eastern Kern County, where in each case-police believe someone out there knows something. in most of these cases, the victims were either killed or vanished from their homes.
 
The vast spread of land known as Cal City has a small police department-with two detectives-working to find the killers of five individuals and two men who seemingly disappeared.
 
in 2001- 60-year-old Dr.Burdette Thorbus was murdered when he and his wife woke up during a home invasion.     
 
Nine years later-27-year-old Matthew Lininger was visiting his girlfriend in Cal City, the pair were asleep in bed when someone stabbed him to death. 
 
In 2012-city planning commissioner, 75-year-old Charles Pieper was stabbed to death inside his Cal City home. 
 
Two years later, 19-year-old Demetri Thomas was killed in a drive-by shooting.
 
That same year-20-year-old Austin Tharp went missing from his home-gone with all his belongings left behind.
 
In 2016, 23-year-old Deverrie Schiller was strangled to death in a park-just across the street from her home.
 
This year-52-year-old Pete Hammond went missing on July 4. Police say his car was recovered in a desolate area of desert-but the man was nowhere to be found. 
 
All of these cases are unsolved-each victim has a family waiting for answers. If you have any information on these cases, call the California City Police Department at 760-373-8606. again, a reward up to $10,000 is offered for information leading to an arrest in the homicides and the whereabouts of the missing persons.     
 

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