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Wheatland Sun

Magalia Man Held to Answer for 2017 Cold-Case Murder of Orland Woman

May 19, 2022 12:00AM ● By Butte County DA News Release

BUTTE COUNTY, CA (MPG) - A Butte County Superior Court judge on Tuesday, May 17 found there was sufficient evidence to send a 48-year-old Magalia man to trial for the 2017 murder of a Glenn County woman whose body was not found until 2021.

Dustin Troy Kimball, 48, of Magalia, appeared before Judge Jesus Rodriguez in a preliminary hearing this afternoon, where the prosecution presented their evidence tying Kimball to the death of Jennifer Coleen Moore, 41, of Orland.

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said the evidence showed that Moore was reported missing to the Glenn County Sheriff’s Office on June 20, 2017. Friends and family had last seen her the day prior, leaving her home in Orland with her then-boyfriend, the defendant Kimball. Moore left her special-needs son at home with her roommate while she went with Kimball to purchase a car for herself, but she never returned. The Glenn County Sheriff’s Office investigated the missing person report, but Moore was not located during their investigation and the case “went cold” for the next three and a half years.

On January 10, 2021, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call of human remains found in a rural area near the Butte County community of Forest Ranch - off Highway 32. The skeletal remains were evaluated by forensic anthropologists from Chico State and were ultimately determined to be those of the missing Moore. 

Ramsey said that at the preliminary hearing today, the evidence established Kimball was the last person to be seen with Moore on June 19, 2017. After he picked her up from her home in Orland, he drove her to the Chico Walmart, which was the last location they were seen together.

Evidence of Kimball’s internet search history revealed that less than an hour before picking up Moore from her Orland home, he was searching topics related to “jugular vein” and “how to cut a jugular vein.” Kimball’s cellphone location data revealed that after leaving the Chico Walmart that evening, he spent an hour at the exact area where Moore’s remains would later be found off Highway 32. The data also showed Kimball returned to that site the following day, on June 20, 2017 – though Moore’s remains would not be found at that site for another three years.

Judge Rodriguez scheduled Kimball’s case for arraignment and jury trial setting on June 1, 2022, at 8:30 a.m. He remains in custody with his bail set at $1,100,000.

Ramsey said that if anyone has information about this case, they are encouraged to call Butte County Sheriff’s Detective Zach Price at 530-538-7671.