Veterinarian found dead at California clinic

Law enforcement is investigating the death as a possible homicide.
Jun 27, 2014
By staff

Law enforcement is investigating the death as a possible homicide.

Summoned to Thompson Peak Veterinary Service early Monday morning, Lassen County Sheriff's deputies found the body of Richard Meinert, DVM, 55, at his Janesville, Calif., clinic.

Evidence found upon preliminary assessment of the scene leads investigators to believe the veterinarian's death may have been the result of a criminal act possibly involving a break-in at the business, according to Lassen County Sheriff Dean Growdon. The Bureau of Forensic Services from the California Department of Justice is investigating the death as a possible homicide.

The community planned a candlelight vigil to honor Meinert July 2 as condolences from clients filled the online boards of local newspapers. “There are just no words sufficient to express the depth of loss that we, as a community, are feeling over Rich’s death,” writes Danielle Simpkins in the comments section of the Lassen County Times. “His involvement with the Bureau of Land Management horses, local cattle ranches and small animal owners throughout Lassen County exemplify the kind of man that Rich was. He was kind; he loved animals and he took just as good of care of their owners as he did of them. Rich, you will be forever missed.”

Commenter Hoagy Franklin also left his condolences: “He always treated my animals with great love and caring. We would have lots of laughter and tears when it came to the animals. Lassen County is suffering a great loss of a great vet and a friend to many. My heart goes out to [his] family. My thoughts are with you. May justice be given to Rich and his family, soon.”

The Sheriff’s office released a picture of a black Adidas hat with red lettering that could lead investigators to a person of interest in the case. Anyone with information that could assist in the investigation is encouraged to call (530) 257-6121.