A Ventura County man was charged Tuesday with murder in the death of his roommate, whose body has yet to be found, officials said.
Cameron Lykins, 23, of Meiners Oaks, is also facing a special allegation that he used a sledgehammer in the killing, the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
Deputies began investigating shortly before 10 a.m. Sunday, after being told that Lykins had admitted to killing 22-year-old Houston Auer and discarding his body.
Authorities who responded to the men’s residence on the 1100 block of Meyer Road, a rural street dotted with horse ranches on the edge of the Ojai Valley, found a bloody scene consistent with a homicide, the Sheriff’s Department said.
However, Auer’s body was not found in the home and has yet to be recovered.
Detectives’ investigation led them to believe Lykins attacked Auer during a disturbance in their home early Sunday morning, then took the victim’s body from the scene.
Hours later, around 1 p.m., law enforcement found Lykins in Lone Pine, a small community in the eastern Sierra Nevada foothills just outside Sequoia National Park — and about 160 miles away from the crime scene.
Lykins’ Nissan pickup was also found in the mountain community, and it contained evidence that investigators say confirms it was used to transport Auer’s dead body.
Inyo County deputies and California Highway Patrol officers contacted officials in Ventura County, who responded and took Lykins into their custody.
Authorities say they have sufficient evidence to conclude Auer was killed, but Lykins has refused to lead them to the body.
They’re releasing photos of the suspect’s pickup, a silver Nissan Frontier with California license plate No. 39077S1, in hopes that the public will come forward with information. Detectives are looking to speak with anyone who saw Lykins or the truck between 1 a.m. and 10 a.m. Sunday.
The defendant appeared in court Tuesday, but his arraignment was continued to June 13, prosecutors said.
He was being held at the Ventura County jail on $2 million bail.
Anyone with information on the case can contact Sgt. Carlos Macias at 805-384-4761.