Local

Randal Wrights Girlfriend Has Been Arrested

Friday, April 10, 2009

Merced County's Sheriff says the husband of a missing Merced woman has a long history of people he's close to ... Dying or disappearing.

Now Randal Wright and the woman detectives say is his girlfriend have both been arrested. But the charges they're facing are not related to his wife's disappearance.

Randal Wright walked into a Merced County courtroom Friday morning for his first hearing since walking out of jail last Saturday after posting a 390 thousand dollar bail. Wright is preparing to go to trial for allegedly filing a false stolen vehicle report and is also facing auto theft charges. But his attorney says Wright has done nothing wrong.

As the 59 year old entered another not guilty plea, Merced County Sheriff's Detectives crossed the border into San Felipe Mexico where they say Wright's girlfriend was arrested this week. Sheriff Mark Pazin says she was storing a 106 thousand dollar Mercedes that Wright stole from a Fresno dealership at a property she manages in Mexico.

But Sheriff Pazin says there is much more to the Randal Wright investigation than car related crimes. Wright's wife went missing in February while visiting one of their vacation homes in San Felipe, two of his employees at RTS Towing disappeared in 1993, and now the sheriff's office is reviewing the 1982 drowning death of Wright's six year old step-son from a previous marriage.

Wright has not been named a suspect in any homicide or missing persons cases, but Sheriff Pazin says the investigations are ongoing. Meanwhile Wright's defense attorney says there is no valid case against his client.

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