Cameron Park hanging victim was Southern California resident |

Cameron Park hanging victim was Southern California resident

The El Dorado Sheriff’s Department has identified the body found April 18 in Cameron Park.

Keturah Billenstein, 28, of Norco, Calif., was hanging from a tree in field at the end of Virada Road where she had abandoned her car late last month. The car was towed 17 days before her body was discovered and investigators believe she was dead at least that long.

“It was gruesome,” Sgt. Hal Lamb said of the scene where the body had begun to decompose. “The trees hid the body and you had to be very close or you couldn’t see it.”

Lamb said it was not surprising the body remained hidden for so long and that the investigation has not resulted any signs of foul play.

“She probably committed suicide,” Lamb said of Billenstein whose family lives in Southern California.

She was reported missing by her roommate in February, who said Billenstein left for church and never came back. On Feb. 29, a Sutter County Sheriff’s deputy pulled Billenstein over, but she told him she was fine and had no intention of returning home.

Investigators said Billenstein also spent time in Arizona before coming to Cameron Park, where she was seen sleeping in her car.

“We don’t know why she was in our area and we haven’t been able to find anyone up here who knows her,” Lamb said.

She was found hanging by a rope from a tall pine tree by a man walking his dog.

The tree’s thick branches hung almost to the ground concealing her body.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User