Eldri Jauch


A 35-year-old Lompoc woman arrested Monday in connection to the death of her 74-year-old missing neighbor has been charged with murder, according to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors allege Melissa Martin killed Eldri Jauch with a deadly weapon — identified as a baseball bat — on June 5. Jauch was last seen the morning of June 4, according to the Lompoc Police Department, and reported missing on June 6.

Martin did not enter a plea during her Wednesday afternoon appearance in Lompoc Superior Court, opting to continue the arraignment until July. She is being held at the Santa Barbara County Jail, on a $2 million bail.

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Lompoc Police located Jauch's body at Martin's home on Sunday, following a tip from a witness. Officers tracked Martin to a home in the area of Santa Ynez and arrested her on suspicion of murder.

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Reach reporter Mathew Burciaga at 805-739-2205 or mburciaga@leecentralcoastnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @mathewburciaga


Education Reporter

Mathew Burciaga is a Santa Maria Times reporter who covers education, agriculture and public safety. Prior to joining the Times, Mathew ran a 114-year-old community newspaper in Wyoming. He owns more than 40 pairs of crazy socks from across the globe.