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Police: Santa Maria man facing eviction killed wife, son, 2 other men

Posted at 11:22 AM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 21:37:36-04

The three bodies recovered from the Santa Maria home that was set on fire last week after a related shooting in the neighborhood have been identified.

Claude “Bodie” Adams, 64, Sherry Adams, 65, and Seth Adams, 33, were identified Monday in a press release from the Santa Maria Police Department as the people who are believed to have died in the house fire at 407 Taylor Street in the Casa Grande Senior Mobile Estates. Investigators say the results of DNA testing are needed to confirm their identities.

Police believe Claude “Bodie” Adams is responsible for the deaths.

It’s unclear if Sherry Adams, the suspect’s wife, and Seth Adams, the suspect’s son, died from the fire or if they’d been killed before the fire started.

Police said Claude “Bodie” Adams shot and killed Kurt Bracke, 70, and Richard Hanen, 78, at the neighborhood clubhouse before going back to his home and setting the deadly fire.

An aerial view of the mobile homes burned in the fire. (Photo courtesy Rob Smith)

The investigation thus far has revealed Claude “Bodie” Adams had an ongoing dispute with Bracke and Hanen, police said.

As a result of the dispute, Adams was reportedly being evicted from the mobile home park.

Neighbors described Claude “Bodie” Adams as angry and confrontational.

The woman who ran the food pantry in the Clubhouse, Deborah Gelacio, said she believes she may have been one of Adams’ targets.

“I was in the room that day a couple minutes before (the shooting),” Gelacio said. “I walked out to get some devotions to put up on the table for people to take. Then it went down.”

Gelacio had filed a complaint against Adams in recent days because he had allegedly stolen food from the pantry. Gelacio said Adams made it known he was angry with her.

“I can’t say that he said anything to that nature, but it was the expressions on his face, mouthing of words,” Gelacio said.

Police are asking any witnesses to share information that may help piece together the timeline of events.

Three homes were destroyed in the fire and a fourth home was seriously damaged.

Gelacio had returned to her post at the pantry Monday to help those dealing with the loss of their homes and belongings.

“I’m not going to say I don’t have emotions. I do, I have many emotions,” Gelacio said. “But the faster we move on, the faster the people involved can move on.”

The interim property manager said Sunday that 43 residents were still without gas after the utility had to be shut off as firefighters battled the blaze.

Photo courtesy Rob Smith

Previous coverage:
Santa Maria residents shaken up after multiple homicides, fire in a senior mobile home park
Memorial grows in Santa Maria mobile home park after deadly shooting and fire