Suspect of California murder caught in vacant York County house

Frederick Gaestel. Image Credit: Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail

YORK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — A suspect wanted for a murder in California was arrested overnight in York County.

The York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook Friday that Frederick Gaestel was reported to be staying in a vacant house on Oriana Road. Authorities were notified around 12 a.m.

Deputies set a perimeter around the house, and Gaestel surrendered to authorities without incident.

Authorities say Mendocino County, California detectives were notified of his arrest. Mendocino County is more than 2 hours north of San Francisco.

A news release from Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office shows the murder dates back to Nov. 11, 2016. Deputies called to a remote rural property in Laytonville, California found a man dead form what appeared to be an assault.

It was later determined that the victim, 35-year-old Jeffrey Quinn Settler, was running a commercial marijuana operation on that property. Several people who had previously worked for Settler had gone to the farm to steal some of the marijuana.

Settler was violently assaulted during the robbery, and was killed.

Seven suspects — including Gaestel — were identified during an investigation. Gaestel was one of two suspects who had not been caught by authorities.

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