Oct 06

Sheriff Hedges, tell us what happened to Dystiny

I wonder how much longer we’ll be forced to rely on rumors, speculation and MySpace for an explanation of what happened to Dystiny Myers,who was memorialized in a ceremony on Wednesday.

We’re a full 10 days into the investigation, and the lips at the Sheriff’s Department remain laced up tighter than a Victorian corset.

From what we can gather, the 15-year-old from Santa Maria fell in with the wrong crowd at some point in the last year or so and underwent a significant change in look and personality — away from the image of a church-going Girl Scout and toward one of a trash-talking, hard-partying tough.

Still, whatever dark turn Dystiny chose, it will never justify or rationalize the taking of her life.

Dystiny Myers, photo courtesy of the family

In the same way a rape victim is never in any shred to blame because she may have dressed provocatively, so also is a homicide victim never to blame for merely associating with a particular group of people, especially when that victim is a teenaged girl who may not have the wisdom to know better.

Not that we know whether she associated with the suspects or whether she even is in fact a homicide victim, two of many rather critical details that remain a mystery thanks to the hyper level of secrecy Pat Hedges and Co. are taking with this case.

Five people have been arrested and charged with murder, but that is all we’ve been told so far.

Those sketchy-looking 19- and 20-year-old dudes could have been her best pals as far as we know, partying with a girl whose MySpace page claimed she was 17.

It would be no far stretch to conjure a scenario of drinking and drugs that somehow ended in an accidental overdose followed by the crew’s freaked-out/strung-out attempt to dispose of the body in a ridiculously incompetent way.

Or, they may have been complete strangers who raped and killed Dystiny in cold blood.

What is the sheriff waiting for? Is it too much to ask for a news conference or two to answer some of the questions surrounding this gruesome case?

It sure didn’t take SLOPD very long to lay out the story against the kid accused of busting in and raping that Cal Poly student.

What was Dystiny’s cause of death? What did the initial coroner’s report show? Was she killed in Nipomo or Santa Margarita?

Did she know these guys? Where was she and what was she doing that night?

How did they catch the five suspects so fast? Why does one look like the subject of a blanket party?

In other words, what the hell happened? Or at least, what do you think happened?

I can’t recall a another similar high-profile case anywhere in the county in which we’ve known so little for so long.

And if the excuse is trying to protect the jury pool from undue publicity, that’s a stupid reason. Better to have a cohesive case released officially once, than a mish-mash of hearsay cobbled together from a range of sources over days or weeks.

With the election to pick his successor him less than a month away, the sheriff has a chance to wrap up his tenure on a solid note, and I’m sure there is plenty of laudable police work backing up this case.

But when will we know about it?

What do you think? Share your thoughts now?

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  1. Catto

    Let them do their investigation so they guys don’t walk, except to the electric chair.

  2. Catto

    “They” should read “these”. Pardon my typo.

  3. LAdreams

    I think this is an unrespectful request. Why ask the law enforcement officials to rush their investigation just to give YOU some answers? I say YOU because no one else who has entered comments on the reports of Dystiny Myers’ death has said they wished the Sheriff would hurry up and let them know things that we, the general public, just don’t need to know right now.

    I respect the Sheriff for not rushing to call a news conference, and why the hell, Joe, would you want to turn this into a political thing anyway?

    Dystiny’s memory deserves the privacy the Sheriff is adhering to in their investigation.

  4. Ron K Jeffries

    The lack of information form authorities so far may well reflect their desire to not taint the potential jury pool.

    I’m gathering infornation for a book about the life and death of this (barely) 15 year old. If you have ideas, my email is rjeffries at gmail dot com.

  5. Marc

    Joe, you’re way off on this one. I usually enjoy reading your articles, but this one infuriates me. This is just the typical stance media takes on getting to the “truth” with no respect for the family, victim or law enforcement who is trying to prosecute the best case they can. Why do you need to know “now”? Why does anyone other than the family need to know “now”? Morbid curiosity? Media’s right to know? Get off of it. The facts will come out in due time.
    You’re telling the Sheriff to do the right thing? He’s doing it right now by keeping his mouth shut. You maybe you could learn to do the same regarding sensitive cases like this.

  6. Henry Stewart

    Mr. Tarica,
    I have to agree with the previous writer. You are way off base with your article. Just because there have been arrests in this case does not mean the investigation is over. First there were four arrests and then a fifth. What makes you think there can’t be more people involved? Yet in your opinion the investigators should “have a cohesive case released officially once”, just so long as they share all their information on your schedule.
    There is a question I would really like to see you answer to all the families of murder victims. What gives you the right to determine this to be a high profile case and demand the answers now? I think any homicide should be considered high profile, but sadly it seems to be only the ones that sell papers or will keep your name in print. What a pitiful article this was.

  7. Dave Rymal

    Joe, this has to be done right. This case is going to be huge. No need to hurry, justice has to be done.
    Capt Dave

  8. Ann

    Why should the general public be allowed to know the details of a case before the trial even begins? Changing the venue of a trial is costly and I believe unnecessary if the powers that be keep their mouths closed before potential jurors form opinions.

  9. nightman

    More baffling to me is why the Tribune has not made a single mention of the girl’s parents. In their Wednesday night coverage of the funeral, both KSBY and KCOY showed footage of the mother attending the funeral … accompanied by deputies, and stating she is currently in jail with four drug charges against her, three of them felonies. And the father? Both newscasts said he is in prison, I believe in Texas, but there was no mention for what crime(s).

    But back to my question: how has the Tribune completely avoided a single sentence about the parents’ own criminal situations and current incarcerations over the course of three back-to-back front-page cover stories purporting to discuss how her friends and family remember her? In particular, the Friday article was specifically about how the five suspects all have criminal histories, which one would think lead to the obvious tie-in of, “…and so do her parents,” and yet … not a word about them. This rather important aspect of her sad family life gives a possible indication as to what this case may be about, i.e. a drug deal gone bad and revenge, etc. It would be interesting to know something … anything, about the two brothers shown in the photo at the funeral. Are they living with the grandmother? Hello? Reporters? Could you possibly do some investigating by asking some obvious people some obvious questions?

    This poor girl would have stood a better chance in life if she’d been left in the woods to be raised by raccoons. Keep in mind the grandmother, whose home she apparently ran away from at some point — again, the Tribune only mentions this in vague passing — raised the criminal druggie mother. What a sad situation, from generation to generation…

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