Deputies Investigate fatal stabbing in Auberry

FRESNO, Calif.

The suspect had some very difficult years. His dad died unexpectedly several years ago and the family is days away from losing their home. Investigators returned to the Auberry home Friday morning with a search warrant looking for evidence in the homicide of 34-year-old Peter Millard.

Lieutenant Mark Padilla says deputies have arrested 20-year-old Jeremy Dehart for stabbing Millard to death. Investigators say they both live on the same property.

Padilla said, "We're still doing interviews with the suspect and other family members and other witnesses as well. We're not sure if there were any prior issues at this point."

Deputies believe the deadly confrontation began when Millard started making insulting comments about one of Dehart's family friends.

Shaun Milor has lived across the street from the Dehart's for more than two decades. He says nothing seemed unusual Thursday night.

Milor said, "I got home about 730 and didn't really hear anything, just working on my truck, and then I went in the house and then I heard the sheriff helicopter flying over and then we saw all the commotion."

Deputies say the suspect and victim were the only two on the property when the argument turned deadly. Investigators say Millard's body was found lifeless in the backyard, the first deputies to arrive said he was already dead.

Family friends told Action News the Deharts' home is in foreclosure and they are being forced to move within the next few days.

Former classmates and friends describe the suspect as polite and mild mannered. The Sierra High graduate is well known in this small community. Neighbors say the area is usually serene with the exception of a few dogs barking, sometimes.

"It's all pretty quiet. Everyone knows each other, it's pretty friendly- but I mean there is some unwanted traffic up here for sure," One person said.

The suspect is still in jail and bail is set at $1 million dollars. Friday, Action News saw the suspect's mother, but she declined to comment.

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