On June 23, 2014, Steven Bland’s relatives reported him missing. According to them, Steven’s son James Bland dropped him off at the Greyhound station around April 3, 2014, in Redding and told James that if no one heard from him for two months to go-ahead and split up his belongings amongst themselves. The case was referred to the Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit for follow up. Detectives immediately started to look into Steven’s disappearance and found that there was no evidence that he had left the Redding area.
Early into the investigation an associate of James came forward and told detectives that James confided in him that he had killed a person during a drug deal over marijuana. The friend told investigators that he had seen a body partially buried in a shallow grave behind the residence where James and his father lived. He told detectives that James had dismembered the body and was attempting to burn it. James eventually buried the remains at a second location on the property. Sometime in mid June James exhumed the remains and moved them to an unknown wooded area somewhere in eastern Shasta County.
The investigation also found that James had been using Steven’s bank card and withdrew several thousand dollars out of Steven’s account. On July 14, 2014, an arrest warrant was issued for James’ arrest for grand theft and unauthorized use of Stevens bank card. James was arrested and booked into the Shasta County Jail, in lieu of $250,000.00 bail.
On July 15, 2014, detectives served a search warrant at the Penrod Way address. With the assistance of the Chico State Forensic Anthropology Department two separate gravesites were located and excavated. A partially decomposing right human hand and several burnt bones including human vertebra, teeth and skull fragments were located. Forensic studies and DNA tests are being conducted on the remains however, detectives believe they are of Steven.
Several searches have been conducted in attempt to locate Steven’s remains with negative results.
Today, James will be formally charged with a count of 187(a) PC First Degree Murder in the death of his father Steven. Steven’s next of kin has been notified and they hope that James will cooperate with detectives and take them to location where he disposed of the remains so they can get some closure and Steven can be put properly to rest.
If you have any information regarding this case please contact the Major Crimes Unit at the listed number or email MCU@co.shasta.ca.us.
– Press Release