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Human remains found in Nipomo golf course lake identified as Santa Maria man

Investigators say he was murdered in December 2018
Posted at 12:35 PM, Sep 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-25 18:56:48-04

A murder victim whose remains were discovered this week at a Nipomo golf course has been identified as Joseph Martin Govey of Santa Maria.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office says Govey was 53 when investigators believe he was killed in December 2018.

He was reported missing to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office on August 23, 2019 after the sheriff’s office says his family had not heard from him since late 2018.

Early Tuesday morning, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office says detectives served a warrant in the 2200 block of Professional Parkway in Santa Maria and arrested the two suspects after Govey’s remains were reportedly pulled from a lake at Blacklake Golf Resort a day earlier.

Kimberly Machleit, 35, was arrested on suspicion of murder and conspiracy. Donald Anderson, 37, was arrested on being an accessory to murder.

Sheriff's officials say detectives believe the victim was killed and dismembered in Santa Maria before in December 2018 before the remains were dropped in the lake.

Investigators say the victim and the suspects knew each other and the killing was not a random act.

Court records show Machleit was charged with murder this week in connection with the crime that's alleged to have happened Dec. 2, 2018. Anderson has been charged with being an accessory.

Investigators are asking anyone with information about the murder case to contact the Sheriff's Office Tip Line at (805) 681-4171 or leave an anonymous tip at