No arrests made in McNaughton homicide case

Andy Jackson: Freedom Newspapers

Officials investigating Laura McNaughton’s homicide held their first press conference on Thursday, but released little additional information.

McNaughton’s body was found Saturday in a ditch in the Pleasant Hill community north of Clovis.

Officials said no arrests have been made and they refused again to release the cause of her death.

District Attorney Matt Chandler fielded all questions from media as about a dozen members of the victim’s family sat quietly along the wall of a conference room at the Clovis Police Department. Undersheriff Doug Bowman of the Curry County Sheriff’s Office and Chief Bill Carey of the Clovis Police Department stood next to Chandler and did not speak.

Chandler would not discuss any evidence in the case, and said the quickest forensic test results will be available to investigators in three to four days.

Chandler said officials know the cause of McNaughton’s death, but have said that revealing that information will hamper their investigation.

Approximately 50 people have been interviewed in the case, and 10 vehicles, residences and/or businesses have been searched, Chandler said.

Officials declined again to answer questions that might link an attempted suicide on Tuesday to McNaughton’s death.

At least five search warrants were filed — and sealed —in 9th Judicial District Court on Tuesday. Two of those warrants are for the home and pickup of a man who officials said has attempted suicide. One of the court records related to the search warrants was sealed by District Judge Stephen Quinn at 1:18 p.m. on Tuesday. Police said the suicide attempt was reported at 2:50 p.m. on Tuesday.

Officials would not say if the incidents are related. They said the man was still alive, but would not reveal his location.

Chandler asked the media not to speak with McNaughton’s family about the case. Family members previously said police instructed them not to speak with media as well.