Humboldt County Sheriff’s Detectives arrested a man this morning in connection with the November 18, 2009 murder of Robert Van Alstine. At about 7:15 a.m., Johnny Lindel Lewis was booked on one count of murder. Lewis, 28 of Eureka, has been in custody at the Humboldt County Correctional Facility since December 4, 2009 on charges unrelated to this case.
Detectives were able to make this arrest after interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence, including the service of search warrants on cell phone records and reviewing video surveillance.
Mr. Van Alstine died on November 18, 2009 after being assaulted. On that morning, deputies responded to the 500 block of South Bay Depot Road and found Van Alstine, obviously injured, lying in the doorway of a business. An employee of the business told deputies he heard the man banging on the door, calling for help. The employee opened the door and the victim said he was hurt and asked for help. Mr. Van Alstine then collapsed. He was transported to an area hospital where he died from his injuries at around noon that same day.
Although an arrest has been made, the case is still under investigation. Sheriff’s Detectives expect to make additional arrests. Anyone with information about this case should call Detective Cheryl Franco at (707) 268-3644 or Sgt. Wayne Hanson at (707) 268-3639.