Update, Jan. 11, 4:50 p.m. Police have confirmed that Emilie Inman was the woman who was killed Friday.
Update, 8 p.m. The Berkeley Police Department reports that the homicide victim was stabbed but has released no further information. BPD has not released Inman’s name pending official notification from the coroner’s office.
Original post, 12:44 p.m. Friends and family have identified Friday’s homicide victim, found at a Berkeley home on Ashby Avenue, as 27-year-old Berkeley resident Emilie Inman.
Inman — who did not know her killer — was reported missing Friday by friends who asked Berkeleyside to share that news online. Friends and family were alarmed because they could not reach her, and police reported finding a car registered to Inman during their investigation into a case involving both a homicide and a stabbing that sent another woman to the hospital.
No information has been released about the circumstances of the homicide, but the woman who was taken to the hospital was listed in stable condition as of Friday night, the last time the Berkeley Police Department provided an update about her.
In the meantime, friends and family have been sharing their memories and grief about Inman online and some came together Sunday night to remember her. A celebration of her life has been planned for Tuesday.
Inman was a nature program instructor for fifth- and sixth-graders at Sienna Ranch in Lafayette. The organization describes itself as “a family-owned business whose focus is on youth, families, environment, and community.” Berkeleyside was unable to reach the organization for comment.
According to her biography on that site, Inman was “born and raised in the French countryside and Paris” and “had a love of nature and humans.” Her family moved to San Luis Obispo when she was 10, and she went on to major in environmental studies at UC Santa Cruz.
“Teaching K-4th grade classes about intertidal species in Santa Cruz dressed in sea star costumes, working as a naturalist at Walker Creek Ranch in Petaluma, CA, 6 months of travel in New Zealand and working at the Marine Science Institute in Redwood City all are part of her story,” according to the bio.
According to several hours of unconfirmed scanner recordings reviewed by Berkeleyside, a young woman in her early 20s flagged down a passer-by for help near 2600 Ridge Road, just north of campus, at about 11:40 a.m. Friday. The woman had been stabbed and was seriously injured.
As it was described over the scanner, the woman — who is not Inman but whose identity has not been released — had been dropped off in the area after the assault on Ashby. She told police the person who stabbed her was still in the neighborhood. Police immediately began a search while the woman was taken to the hospital.
Police quickly zeroed in on the assault location, about 2 miles south of Ridge Road in the 2400 block of Ashby Avenue near Florence Street, according to scanner traffic. Police searched a home and recovered evidence but did not find the assailant.
The door was wide open when police arrived. A Berkeley resident who passed through the area reported seeing a line of police tape across the whole parking area of a building on Ashby, with two or three BPD SUVs parked in front.
Police said it was not until “much later,” following the initial response, that officers found a body at that home. Authorities have released no further details.
Multiple vehicles were towed as evidence in connection with the case, according to scanner recordings, including vehicles belonging to both the stabbing victim and Inman.
Early Saturday morning, police remained on scene with the entire north side of the block between Florence and Regent streets cordoned off with caution tape. At least five yellow evidence markers could be seen along the sidewalk, and some officers walked in and out of a two-story home wearing booties and face masks. One officer began taking down much of the yellow tape at about 1:30 a.m., as a group of officers walked out of the house.
An Alameda County sheriff’s office van was also on the scene, along with a Berkeley Police Crime Scene Unit van. A white picket fence surrounded the home’s front yard, and signs saying “Not our president” and “We stand with Standing Rock” were mounted on the front window. Holiday decorations, including a wreath on the front door, white paper snowflakes, and red and green Christmas stockings, still adorned the living room.
According to a post on neighborhood social network Nextdoor by a woman who had spoken with the family, “The suspect knew his initial victim (the woman who is still alive). After attacking her, he went to the house on Ashby thinking that an old friend/acquaintance still lived there. She had moved out over a year ago but the unfortunate second victim (who was killed) was there, studying.… She answered the door and the rest is history.”
Late Saturday afternoon, police announced the arrest of 22-year-old Pablo Gomez Jr., a Berkeley resident and UC Berkeley student. Burbank police told Berkeley investigators Gomez Jr. was in their custody and would be booked into the Los Angeles County jail system. Gomez Jr., 22, is being held without bail at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles.
Authorities ask anyone with information about the case to call the Berkeley Police Department at 510-981-5741.
Suspect in custody after Berkeley homicide, stabbing (01.07.17)
Police hunt for armed and dangerous Berkeley suspect after homicide, stabbing (01.06.17)
Woman missing after stabbing that sent 1 to hospital (01.06.17)
Update: Young woman stabbed; police search for suspect (01.06.17)
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