Arrest made in mysterious death in Visalia

September 5, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two-and-a-half years have passed since Jamie Atkerson's body was found at the Mooney Grove Trailer Park, where she lived with her boyfriend, Michael Huckaby.

According to authorities, Huckaby told police the night of her death; he found her unresponsive inside the bathtub and got her out.

Ozzie Dominguez with the Visalia Police Department said, "They found the victim in the bathroom, they located physical evidence and they found some suspicious circumstances there."

A suspicious death, but no arrest was made, that is until Wednesday.

Dominguez added, "This is just one of those types of cases you don't have that so called smoking gun, so it's just been a tireless effort on the part of detectives to just slowly build this case and get it to the point where we were comfortable enough to get this thing filed."

People who live in the mobile park say they heard a lot of domestic violence, and police were even called out prior to the murder. News of the arrest left many neighbors, surprised.

"Nothing was found for 2 years," said Leon Aydelott. "I'm just wondering what they found after 2 years."

But some people who knew the couple say Huckaby was still reeling over the loss of his girlfriend.

"He was bothered, it still bothered him," said Valerie Williams. "He loved her very much."

Valeri Williams lived across from the couple, and said Atkerson was a troubled person. But what's more bizarre is neighbors say Huckaby's ex-wife also died inside the trailer, several years before.

"She just got out of prison from my understanding," said Williams. "She just came by out of the blue. He hadn't seen her in many years. They were drinking whiskey, and you know? just natural causes, lifestyle got her.

Visalia police say they were aware of the death. But it was never investigated as a homicide.

Police would not reveal much information about that incident. But for now, Huckaby is being held in the Tulare County jail on a murder charge. His next court hearing is set for September 17th.


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