Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Authorities find carcass of dog swept away with Santa Ana City College student

Kealie, the yellow Labrador that was swept away with a Santa Ana City College baseball player near Brea Creek, was found dead in a flood control channel, animal control officials said today.

A resident contacted animal control authorities Monday to report the carcass in a channel about a mile away from where James Wernke's body was found facedown Dec. 15 in a heavily wooded creek bed, said Capt. Aaron Reyes of Southeast Area Animal Control.

"There didn’t appear to be any blunt force trauma,” Reyes said. “But the dog was very swollen and very waterlogged. There were no broken limbs.”

Reyes said the full extent of its injuries would not be known until a necropsy--an autopsy for animals–is performed. The Fullerton Police Department and the Orange County Coroner's office would have to request such a procedure, and they have not done so yet, Reyes said.

Like Wernke’s case, the search for Kealie was frantic. On the Facebook group “Help Find Kealie,” downloadable fliers were posted, Craigslist links were shared and numerous tips and information poured in from more than 620 members, including Wernke's girlfriend, Sami Bock.

One post suggested checking nearby flood channels because the creek water could have been powerful and high enough to trap the dog.

Wernke, 21, of Fullerton, vanished Dec. 12 while walking Kealie, the Bock family dog, in Fullerton. Wernke took the Labrador out for a walk around 1:30 p.m., returned about 2:15 p.m. and left again with the dog.

An autopsy performed on the Santa Ana College baseball player was inconclusive, pending toxicological testing, which could take up to six to eight weeks, police said.

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

More breaking news in L.A. Now:

Arrest made in slaying of East Hollywood theater director

Third white powder envelope found at UC Irvine

State proposes lethal injection revisions, a step toward resuming executions

Two men critically injured in O.C. train-car collision

Bakersfield airport shut after hazardous material is found in checked bag

L.A. taxicab drivers to receive free H1N1 flu shots

Coroner to perform autopsy; determining Casey Johnson's cause of death could take weeks

Two O.C. men sentenced to prison for trying to steal beer from FBI agent's garage

Tests show powder sent to UC Irvine professors is harmless

Comments () | Archives (2)

My heart goes out to the family's involved along with all the friends. I have been following this story since day 1 and I Wish for nothing more but to take the pain away and to get answers to all the unanswered questions. Each day we wake up and live is a present to ourselfs.

Very sad at the outcome for Kealie, the Yellow Lab James Wernke undoubtedly was trying to save when he lost his own life. Two lives of wonderful beings, swept away. My heart goes out to James' and Kealie's loved ones.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: