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Snowplow driver finds bodies of Burbank couple on side of road near Yosemite

A Caltrans worker found the bodies of a man and a woman on the shoulder of Highway 395 shortly after dawn Monday.
A Caltrans worker found the bodies of a man and a woman on the shoulder of Highway 395 shortly after dawn Monday. Officials are investigating the deaths as a double homicide.
(Los Angeles Times)

A snowplow driver clearing a remote stretch of highway near Yosemite uncovered the bodies of a man and a woman who officials say were killed.

According to a statement from the Mono County Sheriff’s Office, the Caltrans driver made the grisly discovery on the shoulder of Highway 395 near Bridgeport shortly before dawn Monday. The highway was immediately closed as officials from the California Highway Patrol and Sheriff’s Office were called in to investigate.

On Thursday, officials identified the victims as husband and wife William Adrian Larsen, 35, and Yesenia Larsen, 30, both from Burbank.

Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Roberts could not confirm whether the couple had been killed by the side of the highway or if their bodies had been dumped there, but she said she was “pretty positive” the deaths had occurred where the pair were found.

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Bridgeport is about 40 miles north of Yosemite Valley, near the Nevada border in the eastern Sierra.

“It’s been pretty cold and icy,” Roberts said Thursday. “We ended up getting a lot of snow over the weekend in that area, maybe a foot.”

The crime appears to be specific and targeted, the Sheriff’s Office said, and there is no threat to the community of Bridgeport.

Caltrans spokeswoman Christine Knadler said it’s not unusual for workers to be at scenes of crashes or other violent incidents along California’s roads.

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“It’s often that Caltrans workers are the first at an incident on state highways,” she said. “They go through a lot.”

Knadler said the snowplow driver, who did not want to be identified, returned to work the following morning. As is customary in critical incidents, the driver is being offered stress management support, which will be provided by Caltrans District 9 Region Manager Greg Miller, a trained peer diffuser.

“I’ve been on the job 39 years and can still see incidents on Day One,” Miller said. “I still remember them all.”

Officials are asking anyone with information to call the Mono County Sheriff’s Office at (760) 932-7549.


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