SAN CLEMENTE : Suspect in 2 Camper Deaths Out on Bail

A Bellflower man suspected in the weekend deaths of two college-age campers at San Onofre State Park posted bail and was released from a North San Diego County detention center, officials there said Tuesday.

Douglas John Freels, 24, was released Monday from the Vista Detention Facility on $10,000 bail and is scheduled to appear at a Sept. 27 arraignment, the California Highway Patrol said.

Freels was taken into custody Sunday at his Bellflower home, seven hours after Graham Jacob Grubb, 18, of Laguna Niguel and Amanda Jocon Ciskowski, 19, of San Diego, were run over and killed, officials said.

The couple, who had arrived at the beach just south of San Clemente Saturday night, were fatally injured about 2:30 a.m. as they slept in their tent.

A memorial service for Grubb was scheduled Friday at St. James Episcopal Church in Newport Beach, according to Thomas Garrett, the family's attorney. After cremation, his ashes will be scattered at sea.

Garrett said that family members were devastated, adding:

"They are still in a state of shock and vacillate between deep sorrow and anger."

The San Diego and Orange County chapters of Mothers Against Drunk Driving were consoling members of Grubb's family, San Diego chapter president Cindy Roark said.

"We are giving them emotional support and teaching them to deal with their grief," Roark said. "We're assisting them in any way we can."

Ciskowski's relatives were not available for comment.

Freels, meanwhile, remained secluded at his Bellflower home and was seeking legal counsel, according to a woman who identified herself as his mother but declined to give her name.

"He's very stunned," the woman said in a short telephone interview. "He feels very bad. He is a victim in this, too."

Freels could be charged with felony drunken driving, felony hit and run and two counts of vehicular manslaughter at his next appearance in North San Diego County Municipal Court in Vista, the CHP said.

Grubb and Ciskowski had pitched their tent in a darkened parking lot next to Grubb's Toyota land cruiser, in an area not designated as a camping area, CHP Officer Jerry Bohrer said.

Earlier in the evening, Freels had picked up John Herrera, a friend from Downey, at a Lakewood restaurant, Bohrer said. The two then made their way to San Diego County.

After entering the state beach, Freels drove his car on the wrong side of the parking lot at about 30 m.p.h. Herrera noticed Grubb's land cruiser first, Bohrer said.

"Herrera saw something ahead of him, yelled and tried to grab the steering wheel," Bohrer said.

After the car struck the campers and Grubb's vehicle it was abandoned. Freels and Herrera reportedly paid $120 for a taxicab ride home to Los Angeles County.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World