Friday, March 1 2013, 10:23 PM CST
Detectives think they can solve Fulmer Case
By Caitlin Conrad/KTVL.comYREKA, Calif. -- Ten years ago in December Angela Fulmer went missing in the Mount Shasta area, now her cold case is a priority for Siskiyou County. The case one they'r treating as a homicide.
Thursday would have been Fulmer's 45th birthday and detectives in siskiyou county say they won't rest until her case is solved.
Lt. Mark Hilsenberg was one of the first on scene when Fulmer went missing, he says hers is a case he's never given up on, "I never liked the term cold case, it's just continued to be investigated," he said. The former detective says the difference between now and then is the way the sheriff's office looks at old missing person files, Hilsenberg says the sheriff is letting them go at cases full force, "pretty much taken us off our leashes and let us really really pursue this case," he said.
Fulmer was reported missing on Dec. 15, 2002, and Hilsenberg says from the start things just didn't add up.
"There were just some inconsistencies, in regards to how she was reported missing and the details surrounding it," the former detective said.
Fulmer's ex-boyfriend, Tom O'Connell made the report. According to him the two had been out driving that afternoon near Lake Siskiyou when they got into a fight. Hilsenberg says from what he remebers O'Connell reported a dispute, "they had gotten into some sort of argument and that she got mad and just walked off," he said. Off into the woods where later that evening it would begin to snow.
Hilsenberg says the snow storm was a big concern for the sheriff's office, "for a young girl to be out with just the clothes on her back in a snow storm that was concerning to us," he said. The weather made search efforts difficult, the county brought in snow plows, search and rescue teams, as well as k9 units, but never found a trace of the missing woman. Hilsenberg says time was of the essence because if Fulmer had been left in the woods alive she wouldn't survive long in the snow and the missing persons report didn't come in until three in the morning. Hilsenberg says O'Connell waited 18 hours to tell police she was missing, he says if she'd been reported missing earlier things would have been different.
Today Fulmers case is back in the spot light for the Sheriff's Office. Sheriff John Lopey says it is now a priority. He thinks something happened to Fulmer and he says several people in the area probably know what it was. "I'd like everybody to know, and Angela's family to know, her kids, and her mother, you, the rest of her family, that we won't rest until we solve this case," Lopey said. He says the team has gotten in new investigative leads and thinks the case will be solved.