Turlock Shop Owner Claims Police Harassment in Kauffman Murder Case

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Korey Kauffman was 26 when he went missing from Turlock in March 2012. For more than a year, no one would lay eyes on him. Then, a hunter found his remains in the Stanislaus National Forest in October 2013.

How did his death go unsolved for so long?

Balgit Singh Athwal says he and his family are prime suspects in a conspiracy.

“We don’t even know him. That’s what I told them two years ago,” Athwal said. “The guy who died deserves justice. We deserve justice too.”

Athwal says police twice have searched his home and his business, Pop N Cork liquors. He said they did tens of thousands of dollars in damage, but didn’t find what they were looking for.

Meanwhile there has been an arrest made in the case: 38-year-old Robert Lee Woody. Woody sometimes did odd jobs for Athwal and his family at the store.

Kauffman’s murder was covered up, according to charging documents filed against Woody. Those documents accuse co-conspirators B,  C and D. The letters are generic designations for people who prosecutors can’t identify, so they can’t name.

“They put handcuffs on me. They asked me where everything was in the house. I told them and I asked if I was under arrest. They gave me no answer,” Athwal said.

The only arrest in the case to date is that of Robert Lee Woody.

Athwal and his family have staged to protests in the past week. Wednesday, they were out in front of the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office, calling for an investigation into the tactics used by investigators trying to find Korey Kauffman’s murder.

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