Merced County Sheriff's exhume body of Randal Wright's step son
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Merced County Sheriff's Office is taking a new look at the death of a six year old Merced boy who drowned in 1982. His body was exhumed Thursday, and now we're learning why.
The young boy is Aaron Wright. He's the step-son of Randal Wright, who has been named the only person of interest in his wife's disappearance. Randal also has ties to two other homicides. And now authorities are looking into whether his step-son's death was really accidental.
Pieces of plywood now cover the grave where Aaron Wright was buried in 1982. At the time, the six year olds death was ruled an accidental drowning. But now the Merced County Sheriff's Department is taking another look.
Sheriff Mark Pazin says he made the decision to exhume Aaron's body because of other suspicious circumstances surrounding his step-father, Randal Wright.
"It seems like everybody he comes in contact with is gone," said Sheriff Pazin.
The 60-year-old is the only person of interest in the disappearance of his third wife, Karen. She went missing during a trip to the couple's Mexican vacation home in February of 2009 in the midst of a messy divorce. Detectives say Randal was also there at the time, and he had threatened to kill her if she crossed the border. Karen's case has since been ruled a homicide, but her family is still searching for answers.
Karen Wright's sister, Kim Stewart said, "We're just trying to live each day by day and hope that justice will be served."
Two of Randal Wright's employees also disappeared in 1993, and their bodies have never been found. Wright has not been named a suspect in their double homicide case, and he is not considered a suspect in his step-son's drowning death. Aaron was found in the backyard pool of this home, right next door to the home where Randal Wright lived at the time with his second wife.
Sheriff Pazin said, "Randy was babysitting at the time during the July 1982 drowning." The Sheriff also says he doesn't know if exhuming the six year olds body will lead to any new evidence. But he feels now is the time to find out.
Action News spoke to Randal Wright on the phone, and he says he is mad and disgusted that the sheriff's office would disrespect his step-son by exhuming his body.
Wright says the information that's been released about him is filled with lies, and he is not guilty of any crimes. Wright is supposed to report to jail on June 11th to serve a six month sentence for auto theft. But he's trying to get an electronic ankle monitoring system instead.
crimetracker, merced county, merced county sheriff department, local, sara sandrik
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