Monday Jun 22 2009
Murder rocks El Dorado Hills
By: Don Chaddock, The Telegraph
Friend says accused daughter was heading down ‘wrong path’
Two El Dorado Hills teenagers are behind bars, awaiting trial for the stabbing death of 47-year-old Joanne Witt. A quiet gated community in El Dorado Hills was the scene of TV news cameras and El Dorado County Sheriff’s investigators after Witt’s body was discovered last Monday in her home in the 200 block of Tattinger Court. The prime suspects are the victim’s daughter, 14-year-old Tylar Witt, and her 19-year-old boyfriend, Steven “Boston” Colver. Colver’s first court appearance was Monday, where he was formally charged with first-degree murder. He pled not guilty. Witt was also in court the same day for a “detention” hearing, since she is a minor. The story is one that has been followed closely by media outlets locally as well as across the country. Greg Sanders, 17, said he knows the family and warned Tylar that she had to straighten up. “I used to do yard work for Tylar’s mom,” he said. “I was shocked. It was unreal (and) creepy waking up and seeing … pictures (of Tylar Witt and Colver) on television. My friend came over and said, ‘Tylar’s mom is dead.’” According to Sanders, Colver had been living with the Witts for a few months and things went sour when Tylar’s mom discovered an alleged “inappropriate relationship” between her underage daughter and the adult Colver. “Tylar and I used to hang out every day last summer,” he said. “I think she’s a nice girl, but she was definitely going down the wrong path and hanging out with the wrong crowd.” He said Tylar had been getting in trouble at school during her first year at Oak Ridge High. Sanders said he sat her down and had a talk with her about some of her poor choices. “I even talked to her three months ago, warning her that if she kept doing (these) things and going down the wrong path, bad things were going to happen,” Sanders said. When San Bruno Police officers arrested the teens at a strip mall on Wednesday morning last week, Sanders said he wasn’t surprised. He said he knew they couldn’t last long without their vehicle. The San Francisco Police Department had impounded the vehicle on Monday last week because it was parked in a construction zone. It also tipped off law enforcement officials as to the suspects’ whereabouts. “I figured they couldn’t go far,” he said. Despite the rocky relationship between the mother and daughter, Sanders said, “They still seemed like a happy family when I was around.” Sanders said he believes the mother’s desire to press “statutory rape” charges against Colver sparked the deadly confrontation. Prior to the arrest, law enforcement officials confirmed that they had responded to the residence before to look into an “inappropriate relationship.” According to Capt. Craig Therkildsen, of the El County Sheriff’s Office, the teens were active on MySpace and Facebook. “I think their (pages) told the story as to who they were,” he said. The teens’ MySpace pages have since been deleted. Colver is a 2008 graduate of Oak Ridge High School and was a shift leader at Rubio’s restaurant in Folsom. On his Facebook page, he listed “drinking (and) smoking” as his hobbies. He also expressed an interest in knives, swords and Japanese animation. Before his arrest, friends posted pleas on Colver’s Facebook page asking him to turn himself in. Brooke Mercer, who has been interviewed on local TV newscasts, wrote, “Dude, Boston, you’ve got to quit running. We’re all worried about you here. Please, Boston, you once told me that you would never be capable of such a thing. Prove me right. Prove yourself right. For me?” Therkildsen would not provide details of the alleged relationship between Colver and Witt. “We’re looking into the relationship between the (man) and the minor,” he said. “Because of the age, I can’t discuss (it).” Therkildsen said they would need to wait for the coroner to release a time of death. “The autopsy has been completed, but the results won’t be available for five to six weeks,” he said. He also said he could not release any information regarding the murder scene. Don Chaddock may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.