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'Suspicious' Lake County deaths linked to pot operation

Two bodies found Thursday down an embankment in Lake County have been identified as the remains of a Maine couple who disappeared in January from Clearlake, where they had been hired to work in a marijuana growing operation, law authorities said Monday.

Frank and Yvette Maddox, 32 and 40, disappeared after agreeing to give their employer, Robby Alan Beasley, a ride to the Sacramento airport, said Lake County Sheriff's Capt. James Bauman.

Beasley, 29, also initially from Maine, was arrested Saturday on a no-bail fugitive warrant issued in Maine for a probation violation related to criminal threats and assault charges, Bauman said.

Beasley is considered a "person of interest" in the deaths of the couple, he said. Beasley is suspected on having threatened one of the two employees with a gun, Bauman said, adding that the allegation is unverified, he said.

Beasley hired the Maddoxes and brought them to Lake County several months ago to help him with a marijuana growing operation, Bauman said. Detectives found 96 marijuana plants growing at a Lower Lake location where Beasley was known to sometimes reside, he said. They found $5,000 at a Clearlake residence where he also was known to live, Bauman said.

Beasley had a large, but unspecified amount of cash on his person when he was arrested, he said.

The Maddox's deaths are being called "suspicious." An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday at the Napa County Coroner's Office, Bauman said.

The bodies were discovered Thursday down a 20-foot deep embankment along Morgan Valley Road about six miles east of Lower Lake. Two Sonoma County men spotted the corpses when they stopped to take a break from driving.

Authorities are still looking for the dead couple's vehicle — a 1982 Toyota pickup truck — which may be linked with their deaths, he said. It was either tan, beige or pale yellow with a black camper shell, Bauman said.

Anyone with information about the vehicle is asked to contact the Sheriff's major crimes unit at 262-4200.


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