New Details Emerge in Korey Kauffman Murder Investigation

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Five of the nine people suspected to be involved in the murder of 26-year-old Turlock resident Korey Kauffman will appear in Stanislaus County Court on Tuesday.

Last Friday, authorities arrested Frank Carson, a well-known local defense attorney in connection to the murder.

They said Carson acted as the ring leader of a nine-person group, including his wife, step-daughter, three CHP officers and two local business owners.

Tonya Johnson of Turlock is Frank Carson’s tenant.

“Everybody would be asking, what ever happened to Korey Kauffman? … And nobody ever knew,” Johnson said.

Johnson said Kauffman’s disappearance was always the talk of the town, especially because her cousin was good friends with him.

One year after his disappearance in 2013, hunters found his body in Mariposa County.

Johnson said she had almost forgotten about it, until just this past Friday, when officers started banging on her door.

“Step out of the house with your arms up!” Johnson remembered them saying. “I have a 6 year old and an 8 year old with their hands up and SWAT was everywhere.”

Johnson said she had no idea what was going on until authorities asked about her relationship with Carson.

After she told them she was his tenant they searched the entire home.

“I did not ever in my wildest dreams expect them to say he is wanted for murder,” Johnson said.

Authorities then walked through to the back yard and to an adjacent building, both of which are owned by Carson.

Officers said that could be the exact place Kauffman was killed.

Now, Johnson does not know what to believe. But she does know, she is torn between the landlord who she always trusted and Kauffman’s family.

“I just pray that Korey Kauffman’s family do finally get some closure and the right people, if it is Frank Carson, then so be it. But let justice be done,” Johnson said.

According to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, Frank Carson, Georgia DeFilippo, Daljit Atwal, Baljit Athwal, and Walter Wells will have their arraignments at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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