Placer County suspect arrested after 15 years of eluding authorities

Lawrence Dewald located at Mendocino County home
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - It took 15 years, but Placer County authorities have finally arrested Lawrence Dewald. Dewald was taken into custody last week in the coastal California community of Mendocino on federal and Placer County arrest warrants related to his disappearance in 1997 before he could face drug-possession-for-sale charges. Lt. Greg Van Patten of the Mendocino County Sheriff?s Office said that Dewald, 46, was arrested early Thursday morning at a Little Lake Road home in the Mendocino County community. The arrest was made without incident, he said. Dewald had been a fugitive from justice for about 15 years, Van Patten said. The arrest was made on a federal warrant for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution and a Placer County felony warrant for failure to appear on past charges of possession of a controlled substance for sale, Van Patten said. Dewald was initially booked into the Mendocino County Jail after his arrest. He was subsequently extradited to Placer County on Friday. Placer County Jail records show Dewald was continuing to be incarcerated on a no-bail hold at the North Auburn facility. This report will be updated as more information becomes available.