Police may have solved old Siskiyou County mystery

SISKIYOU COUNTY, Calif. — Police here believe they have solved the 32-year-old mystery of a kidnapped boy who was snatched from his father's pickup and murdered.

Siskiyou County sheriff's detectives have charged two Humboldt County residents with the August 1976 kidnapping of 6-year-old William Alford Cook, Jr., Siskiyou County Sheriff Rick Riggins said in a news release.

Gregory Lynn Nelson, 51, and Suzane Dorene Little, also known as Suzanne Aubrey, 69, both of Hoopa, were arrested Tuesday and charged with kidnapping. Both were lodged in the Siskiyou County Jail on $500,000 bail.

William Cook Jr., known as Willie, was sitting in his father's pickup outside a Happy Camp service station when he was abducted.

The boy only was inside the pickup for a short time before he disappeared. A massive search by several police agencies and volunteers failed to locate the boy.

Two teenage boys found Willie's body in a cardboard barrel dumped off Highway 96 several miles northwest of Yreka.

The murder investigation continued over the years, but led to no arrests. Yreka police discovered new evidence in the case and contacted Siskiyou County sheriff's detectives.

No details of the investigation were available late Tuesday. Riggins said he would answer questions about the case at 10 a.m. this morning.

Police are still seeking additional details surrounding the case. Anyone with information about the kidnapping and murder of Cook is asked to contact the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office Detective Sergeant Mark Hilsenberg at 530-842-8767.

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