19 year-old Redding man charged with first-degree murder of his father

Aug 18, 2014 8:25 PM

The Shasta County Sheriff's Office has charged a 19-year old Redding man they suspect murdered his own father.
Steven Bland had been reported missing by his relatives on June 23rd, following his disappearance.

According to Sheriff's investigators, James Bland told a friend he had killed someone over a drug deal and had buried part of the body in his backyard.

"It's probably been two months since I've seen the father, and I don't think I've seen the son for six months..."

Ken Hess had no clue what his neighbors were up to until July 15th - when Sheriff's deputies served a search warrant at the Bland home on Penrod Way.

"Law enforcement came and put up a crime scene tape across the fence...we thought whoa what's going on?"

Deputies found a dismembered body at two different locations behind the home.
They found a decomposing right human hand and burnt bones, which detectives believe are that of Steven Bland.

Steven's family reported him missing at the end of June -- according to them, James dropped his father off at the Greyhound station on April 3rd and was told if no one heard back from him in two months, the family could split Steven's belongings.

"They were standoffish...they kept to themselves and kept their gate locked at all times."

But Sheriff's investigators found no evidence that Steven had left the area.
Instead, they found out James was using his father's credit card, and withdrew thousands of dollars from his bank account.

James was arrested in July for grand theft and unauthorized use of his father's credit card - today he was formally charged with one count of first degree murder in the death of his father.

He was booked into the Shasta County jail, and is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail.

Sheriff's investigators say in mid-June, James exhumed what they believe to be the rest of his father's remains and buried them in a wooded area somewhere in eastern Shasta County.

Police are now hoping James will cooperate and lead them to those remains.


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