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DATE/TIME:              Thursday, September 6, 2018/8:57 am   UPDATE: September 20, 2018

INCIDENT:                Murder Investigation

LOCATION:             Desert area South of Waverly Road, Lucerne Valley

VICTIM:                     Marion Russell, age 58 a resident of Victorville

SUSPECT(S):           James Hottinger, age 40 a resident of Adelanto


SUMMARY:  UPDATE:  September 20, 2018

Through investigation, James Hottinger was identified as the suspect responsible for the death of Marion Russell.  Investigators believed that Hottinger was in possession of the victim’s vehicle and had fled the area.

On Friday, September 14th, homicide investigators were contacted by Officers of the Inver Grove Police Department in Minnesota.  Officer’s conducted a traffic stop on the victim’s vehicle that was being driven by James Hottinger.   Hottinger was arrested for an outstanding California parole violation and the arrest warrant for the murder of Marion Russell.

On Monday, September 24th investigators flew to Minnesota, recovered and processed the victim’s vehicle.  Hottinger was interviewed by homicide investigators and remains in custody in Dakota County Jail.  He is awaiting extradition back to California where he will be booked for the parole violation and murder.

Updates will be provided as additional information becomes available.

Anyone with information related to this investigation is urged to contact the Specialized Investigations Division-Homicide Detail, Detective James Tebbetts at (909)387-3589. Callers can remain anonymous and contact WeTip at (800)78-CRIME or


On Thursday, September 6th at approximately 8:57 am, deputies from the Victor Valley Sheriff’s Station responded to the desert area South of Waverly Road in Lucerne Valley following the report of a deceased person at the location.  Deputies confirmed the victim was deceased and requested the assistance of the Specialized Investigations Division-Homicide Detail.

Investigators responded and assumed the investigation.  The victim has been identified as Marion Russell.  Russell was reported missing to the Victor Valley Station on September 4th.  At this time, no suspects have been identified, and the investigation is ongoing.

Refer:             Detective James Tebbetts or Sergeant Ryan Smith

Station:          Specialized Investigations Division – Homicide Detail

Phone No.     (909)387-3589

Case No.       DR#071802896        H#2018-088

JOHN McMAHON, Sheriff-Coroner

San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department