A Butte County man considered a person of interest in the murders of two Plumas County residents in 2014 is on the loose.
Butte County law enforcement discovered the electronic monitoring (EM) device belonging to GD Hendrix, 47, along the roadside and no sign of him, according to Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood.
“We’re still looking,” said Sgt. Steve Collins of the Butte County Sheriff’s Office. That was Thursday, Aug. 2.
At the time of his arrest, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office didn’t have enough evidence to charge Hendrix with the murders of Peter “Mike” Kroencke, 59, and his wife, Olga Kroencke, 56, of Cromberg.
Hendrix was charged with possession of an explosive device, weapons and possession of methamphetamines.
In Feb. 2015, criminal proceedings against Hendrix were dropped when it was determined that he wasn’t competent to stand trial.
Hendrix was transferred to Napa State Hospital for psychiatric treatment. He was to serve seven years, four months, according to Butte County Deputy District Attorney Mark Murphy last week. Because of the nature of the crime he had to serve only half of that sentence, he added.
When Hendrix was released, he returned to the Berry Creek area. He was to remain under surveillance with the EM device.
Collins said his department has placed Hendrix on its most wanted list. Although they have actively searched for him in the Berry Creek area, Collins admitted, “We don’t know where he is.”
Hendrix’s mother, Lotta Hendrix, now around 70, was arrested the same day as her son. It’s believed she’s in the Oroville area, Collins said.
Collins said they would very much like to recapture Hendrix. They would also like to finally charge him with the murders of the Plumas County couple. “It’s still an active case,” he said. Because it’s an open investigation, he couldn’t discuss the details of what evidence they might possess.
Collins added that the Butte County Sheriff’s Office is working with the Butte County District Attorney’s office on the case.
It was Dec. 20, 2014, when a resident of Butte County reported to the sheriff’s office that his parents were expected and didn’t arrive.
The bodies of the husband and wife were found in the Berry Creek area. They had been shot to death inside their vehicle about a half-mile from Galen Ridge Road, according to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office.
The bodies of the Kroenckes were discovered by deputies at 2:20 p.m. between a property they owned and the Hendrix residence on Galen Ridge Road. The Kroenckes reportedly knew Hendrix.
Around the time of the murders, an unidentified Kroencke family member said that the Kroenckes had had problems with Hendrix in the past. They believed he was squatting inside a vacant home near their Berry Creek property.
The person also reported that Olga Kroencke confronted Hendrix several times for allegedly providing their adult mentally disabled son with methamphetamines.
In fact, just days prior to their murder, it was reported that Olga posted a note on Hendrix’s fence warning him to stay away from their son.
By Dec. 29, 2014, a search warrant was served at a Galen Ridge Road residence by the Butte County Sheriff and the Chico Police Department SWAT team. Although Hendrix and his mother were not present at the time, an explosive device and firearms were seized.
Arrest warrants were issued for both Hendrixes. They were charged with possession of an explosive device at that time.
It was Jan. 6, 2015, when Butte County Sheriff’s detectives responded to the Canyon Creek Store on the Oro Quincy Highway. They were informed that GD Hendrix was inside. Detectives, believing he was armed and dangerous, responded to the location and waited for him outside the business.
When Hendrix emerged, detectives announced themselves. Initially Hendrix raised his hands and then lowered them to his waist. He began reaching inside his jacket when detectives forced him to the ground and placed him in handcuffs, according to information from the Butte County Sheriff’s Office at that time.
When Hendrix was arrested, he was armed with an AK-47 style semi-automatic assault rifle strapped to his back. It was loaded with a 30 round magazine. He was also carrying a loaded .22 caliber revolver on his waist, and a loaded .223 caliber-hunting pistol draped over his right arm.
Detectives also recovered a concealed dagger and brass knuckles that were found around Hendrix’s neck.
At that time, Hendrix was booked into the Butte County Jail in Oroville. He was charged with possession of an assault rifle, possession of methamphetamine and being armed in the commission of a felony. Charges included a total of six felony charges and one misdemeanor. His bail was set at $1 million.
Lotta Hendrix was arrested at another Berry Creek location later that same day. Her bail was set at $500,000.
At that time, Lotta Hendrix denied a charge that she was in possession of an explosive device. “I didn’t live on this property for six weeks, so how can I be in possession of anything,” she said in court, according to a report in the Enterprise-Record.
Lotta Hendrix is not a suspect in the murder of the Kroenckes.