ARREST/UPDATE: August 20, 2020
DATE/TIME: Tuesday, September 3, 2019/6:03 p.m. UPDATE: September 11, 2019
INCIDENT: Arrest in 2019 Murder Investigations
LOCATIONS: 20000 block of Wisconsin Street, Apple Valley – Brandi Jones murder
9000 block of C. Avenue, Hesperia – Culbertson/Graetz murders
VICTIMS: Brandi Jones, 35 years old, resident of Hesperia – murdered August 30, 2019
Jason Culberson, 43 years old, resident of Hesperia – murdered September 3, 2019
Melissa Graetz, 37 years old, resident of Hesperia – murdered September 3, 2019
SUSPECT: Phillip Williamson, 37 years old, resident of Hesperia – IN CUSTODY
UPDATE: August 20, 2020
During the year long investigation, detectives received information that Phillip Williamson was hiding in Ensenada, Mexico. Sheriff’s Specialized Enforcement Division (SED) provided the new information about Williamson to the United States Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force. On Wednesday, August 19, 2020, the U.S Marshal’s were conducting surveillance at a location and identified Williamson as he exited the residence. He was taken into custody without incident.
Williamson was transported to detectives at the United States/Mexico border and later booked at West Valley Detention Center for murder.
Williamson is scheduled for arraignment on Friday, August 21, 2020 in Victorville Superior Court.
UPDATE: Wednesday, September 11th at 2:00 pm
Through investigation, the victims have been identified as Jason Culberson and Melissa Graetz. Investigators have determined that both were victims of homicide. The suspect believed to be responsible for their deaths has been identified as Phillip Williamson of Hesperia.
A previous booking photo of Williamson was released when he was identified as the suspect responsible for the death of Brandi Jones on August 30th. Jones’ body was located in her vehicle in a dirt field near Wisconsin Street. Investigators believe that Williamson may have changed his appearance and has shaved his head and facial hair.
On September 9th, a fire erupted at the residence in the 20100 block of Wisconsin which was the location of the Strong-Arm Robbery that occurred on August 30th. Bomb and Arson Investigators responded to the fire and determined it to be an Arson. Investigators believe Phillip Williamson may be connected to the arson.
Williamson remains outstanding and is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to immediately call 911.
Additional information will be released as it becomes available.
On Tuesday, September 3, 2019, at approximately 6:03 pm, deputies from the Hesperia Police Department responded to a residence in the 9000 block of C. Avenue to conduct a welfare check on the occupants of the home. Upon arrival, deputies located a deceased female and a deceased male inside the residence.
Sheriff’s Specialized Investigators – Homicide Detail responded to the location and are conducting a death investigation.
SUMMARY: Friday, August 30, 2019
On Friday, August 30, 2019, at approximately 10:00 am, deputies assigned to the Apple Valley Police Department investigated a strong robbery and suspicious circumstances call at a residence on Wisconsin Street. The victim, Brian St. John, reported that the suspect, Phillip Williamson, confronted him at his home and forced him to give him several hundred dollars and a handgun. The victim advised deputies that the suspect told him to look inside the vehicle he was driving, a white Hyundai, as there was a deceased female inside. The victim believed there was a body partially hidden inside the vehicle. The suspect then fled the location in the Hyundai. Through investigation, deputies determined Williamson lived at a home in Hesperia. Deputies from the Hesperia Police Department responded to Williamson’s residence in the 19100 block of Yucca Street and found evidence of a struggle and secured the location. Based on this information, deputies obtained a search warrant for the residence and an arrest warrant for Phillip Williamson.
Sheriff’s Specialized Investigators, Homicide Detail and the Specialized Enforcement Division (SED) responded to assist in the investigation.
At approximately 10:40 pm, the white Hyundai was located abandoned in a dirt field near Wisconsin Street in Apple Valley. The victim, Brandi Jones, was found deceased inside the vehicle.
Through investigation, investigators have determined that the suspect was known to the victims prior to the incidents.
Phillip Williamson remains outstanding and is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to immediately call 911.
Refer: Detective David Carpenter or Sergeant Troy Mooradian
Detective James Tebbetts or Sergeant Jon Woods
Station: Specialized Investigations Division
Phone No. (909)387-3589
Case No. DR#191906072 H#2019-081
JOHN McMAHON, Sheriff-Coroner
San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department