On July 8th, 2020

California DOJ Criminalists Assist NCSO in Positively Identifying Murder Victim Suspect Aaron Sullivan arrested for the murder of Nathan Alwin

NEVADA COUNTY – On July 8, 2020, Aaron Sullivan was charged with the murder of Nathan Alwin, a murder which likely took place in March of 2019.

In early April 2020 detectives with the Nevada County Sheriff ’s Office Major Crimes Unit developed information regarding a possible homicide that had reportedly taken place in March of 2019 at a rural property located in Nevada County. Detectives continued to seek information regarding the potential homicide and ultimately served a search warrant at the property where the homicide was believed to have occurred.

During the search warrant service, more investigative leads were developed and a crime scene was located. With assistance from anthropologist from the Chico State Human Identification Laboratory, the scene was processed and human remains were recovered. Through several additional search warrants and extensive investigation, the victim was preliminarily identified as Nathan Alwin (30 years old). Alwin was a transient who had been living in Nevada County for several months before his disappearance in March of 2019. Before that Alwin had resided in Oregon and Utah.

During the week of July 6th, 2020, the California Department of Justice DNA Laboratory confirmed for the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office that the remains located were positively identified as Nathan Alwin’s via a DNA match.

“The work done by California DOJ criminalists is nothing short of outstanding,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona.  “Their use of technology and science makes them important partners in law enforcement, public safety and criminal justice.  Without them, many cases would remain unsolved.  Their work in this case also provided some closure to a man’s family who was in need of answers.”

Through continued work by detectives and with the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office, the suspect was identified as Aaron Sullivan (42 years old) of Grass Valley. Sullivan was already incarcerated in the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility on unrelated charges of assault with a deadly weapon and a parole hold.

The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office acknowledges the extensive amount of work conducted by multiple agencies to bring this investigation to a close.

Anyone with additional information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit at (530)265-1471.


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