Police: Man confesses molestation in suicide note | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Police: Man confesses molestation in suicide note

DAYTON – A social worker found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound near Dayton left behind a suicide note admitting he molested one of his young charges from a South Lake Tahoe group home, officials said Wednesday.

The body of Al Bonadonna, 50, was found Sunday in the driver’s seat of his motor home two miles outside of Dayton on Old Como Road.

Bonadonna had been missing since Nov. 25 when he bailed out of the Colusa County Jail, where he had been held on charges of sexual assault.



A social worker with Tahoe Turning Point in South Lake Tahoe, Bonadonna was arrested in Douglas County on Nov. 20 on a warrant from the Williams Police Department in Colusa County charging him with two counts of felony child molestation, preventing or dissuading a victim from reporting a crime and battery.

According to Williams Police Chief C.R. Waugh, Bonadonna was transporting a 14-year-old boy to a November court hearing in Glenn, 60 miles north of Sacramento, when he sexually assaulted the boy the night before the hearing at a Williams motel. The next day, the child told his parents of the assault, Waugh said.




On Sunday, Carson City residents Jennifer Jenkins and Dayton Pitts were riding all-terrain vehicles in Dayton when they came upon a motor home in the road. As they drove past, Jenkins said, it was evident the man in the driver’s seat was dead.

Bonadonna died from a gunshot wound to the head, said Lt. Jeroen Wynands of the Lyon County Sheriff’s Department.

“He admitted to the charges in his suicide note and took his own life,” Wynands said.

Tahoe Turning Point Executive Director Rich Barna said Bonadonna had been “released immediately as of the arrest.”

Tahoe Turning Point is a nonprofit private organization that deals with adjudicated youth.

“After he was terminated, he came and cleared out his personal belongings, got into that motor home and left,” Barna said.

In his 19 years with Turning Point, there were no complaints against Bonadonna of a sexual nature, Barna said.

“He was a hard worker, very good with children, very likable person, well-liked among his peers in his community and all the associates who worked with our company,” Barna said. “It was a bit of a shock for us.”

Wynands said an autopsy was unable to pinpoint the time of death.

“Time of death was established between Nov. 25, 2004 and the 20th of this month,” he said. “He had obviously been there for some time.”

– William Ferchland contributed to this story.


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