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Obligated to the Truth: local filmmaker seeks answers in 2014 murder

In September, 2019 local filmmaker Trudy Duisenberg premiered her film "Obligated to the Truth" which details the murder case of Chico State University student Marc Thompson. Where does the case stand now?

Posted: Jun 29, 2020 8:34 AM
Updated: Jun 29, 2020 9:20 AM

CHICO, Calif. – In the weeks since the killing of George Floyd, across the country there has been renewed focus on cases involving the deaths of black men.

In the Northern California region there is also a case that one local filmmaker is determined to keep in the public’s eye.

Action News Now Morning Anchor Julia Yarbough first told you about the film last September and recently caught up with the documentary creator, Trudy Duisenberg, to speak with her about the status of the case.

The murder of Chico State University student Marc Thompson remains unsolved. His body was found in a burning car in the hills above Oroville in September of 2014.

Those who knew Thompson said he was outspoken and involved in community causes, well-liked and respected.

“What I wanted to do all along was let the most people possible know his story,” said Duisenberg.

She premiered a documentary in September, 2019. Obligated to the Truth detailed Thompson’s case. Duisenberg said she crafted the documentary in part because the story moved her and because she hoped it might spark renewed interest and clues.

“I didn’t think local law enforcement would actively support my bringing this story back,” says Duisenberg.

She says the documentary creates mixed emotions. Sadness the Thompson case even exists but also a small amount of hope.

“I’m hopeful because I think more and more of the greater society is willing to receive a think about true heartfelt change.”

Yarbough reached out to the Butte County Sheriff's Office to ask, despite the passage of time, is Thompson's case still being investigated?

In a statement, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office said:

“Detectives assigned to this case have done their best to follow-up on the leads provided by family, friends, and other sources."
The department goes on to say, “This case is not closed. We continue to investigate and have been successful in solving other cases after the passage of lengthy periods of time"

"Sadly it's like say his name. Why do we use that phrase, say the name? So they get recognition; so we acknowledge that a crime happened,” explains Duisenberg.

After the Floyd case and subsequently increased in public awareness, Duisenberg says she decided to share her documentary on YouTube and not just for private distribution.

She is hopeful that with a larger audience and wider distribution, there may be someone who knows something who will come forward on this case.

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