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News Articles - Part I
This begins with the first article printed about Kali's whereabouts and continues up to the articles in part II
All articles & photos are © Ventura County Star, © Los Angeles Times & © The Ojai Valley News
Search for Ojai teen intensifies
MISSING: Father joins 100 deputies, volunteers looking for Kali Manley.

By Bruce McLean
Staff writer Ventura County Star

One hundred people spread out across the Ojai Valley on Wednesday afternoon, searching river bottoms, trails and roadsides for a barefoot, blond-haired and blue-eyed 14-year-old girl who disappeared Saturday night.

Kali Manley of Oak View was last seen at the Circle K store in Mira Monte late Saturday night.

Her father, Charles Manley, a teacher with the Oxnard school district, said he last talked to his daughter Saturday night when she said she would be spending the night at a friend's house.

"For some reason, she left the friend's house," Manley said. "This child has always phoned to tell me where she is. She has never not called."

Manley was last seen in a green pickup with two unknown males, said sheriff's department spokesman Senior Deputy Kim Garrett.

Investigators have no evidence of foul play, Garrett said, but also have no explanation for her disappearance.

"We just don't know at this point," Garrett said.

Since the girl's disappearance, the family has been "sitting around going nuts," Manley said.

Wednesday afternoon he was able to channel some of that energy, joining the sheriff's department's all-out search for his daughter.

After joining a team that combed the Dennison Grade, Manley returned to the command post at Nordhoff High School and within an hour was driving off with a team to search an area near Foster Park.

"I'm just doing what I'm told to do by the sheriff's department," he said.

By 4 p.m., 100 deputies and search-and-rescue volunteers, along with Manley's co-workers and friends, joined the search, some coming from as far away as Simi Valley.

"I heard it on the radio," said Paul Jorgensen of Oak View, a family friend. "I thought this was the least I could do."

The sheriff's department also brought in search dogs and two helicopters.

Manley's family reported her missing Sunday night.

The increased effort to find Manley on Wednesday came after investigators spent Monday and Tuesday talking with friends and family and still came up empty.

"We exhausted all the known leads," Senior Deputy Ed Tumbleson said.

Cold weather added to the urgency of the search.

"Due to the weather and the fact that she was not dressed for it, it's real important that we pull out all the stops," Garrett said.

Although deputies pulled civilians off the search about 8 p.m. Wednesday, deputies and search-and-rescue teams were expected to continue the search through the night if the girl was not found, Tumbleson said.

A $3,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to her return. She is described as 5-feet-3-inches tall and was last seen wearing blue jeans, a pink tank top and a black sweater. 
The last time she was seen she was barefoot.

Searchers scour Ojai Valley
No clues yet to whereabouts of Oak View teen missing since Saturday

By Encarnaci--n Pyle
Staff writer Ventura County Star

As authorities continued an intensive search for a missing 14-year-old Oak View girl, her father, Charles Manley, said he couldn't have gotten through Christmas Eve without support from the huge number of people who helped comb the Ojai Valley.

He spent the day with more than 150 searchers, the likes of which authorities said they had never seen before, scouring 100 square miles of terrain for Kali Manley, who disappeared Saturday night.

"We recognize the Christmas spirit," her father said. "It's been real nice to see all the people come out. I've got a lot of family in the hills of Ojai."

Search and Rescue teams, some in helicopters, sheriff's volunteers, people in the community and dogs met at Nordhoff High School at dawn and spent the day searching every nook and cranny of the Ojai Valley -- from Foster Park to the Upper Ojai.

"We're looking in canyons, creeks, riverbeds, washes, trails -- both bike and horse -- and gazebos," Senior Deputy Ed Tumbleson said. "We're leaving no leaf unturned. We're family people here, and there's no reason for a girl to go missing. It doesn't make any sense."

The Sheriff's Department is still treating Manley's disappearance as a missing person case, Tumbleson said. Charles Manley, 43, a teacher with the Oxnard School District, said he last talked with his daughter Saturday night, when she said she would be spending the night at a friend's house.

"She's a good kid," he said. "She has always called us, always called us and told us her whereabouts."

She was last seen late Saturday with two unidentified men -- possibly teen-agers -- in a green truck outside the Circle K minimart on Highway 33 across from Woodland Avenue in Mira Monte, police said. Manley is 5-feet-3-inches tall, weighs 103 pounds and was last seen wearing a black Adidas zip-down sweatshirt, pink tank top and jeans.

Tumbleson said the department has no reason to believe that Manley -- a blond-haired, blue-eyed freshman at Nordhoff High, whom friends characterize as "sweet, funny, but a little on the quiet side" -- ran away, but that sometimes teens take off for the darndest things.

"Getting a bad report card, being ordered to do chores, any little thing can sometimes set these little girls off," Tumbleson said.

Investigators, he said, have no evidence of foul play but have not ruled it out, and at this point are checking every and all possible leads, including unsubstantiated rumors.

A host of rumors, in fact, has been pouring in from psychics, friends of the family and well-meaning strangers. The lead detective on the case spent an hour to two hours Wednesday following up on 20 rumors or tips, none of which bore fruit, he said.

"Even our own dispatcher got caught up in a rumor," Tumbleson said. "Thirty minutes after she left work she called us to ask if we had really found the girl. ... Of course, we hadn't."

Another rumor circulating among Manley's friends is that she left her girlfriend's house Saturday to attend a party where she possibly met the two men with whom she was last seen at the Circle K.

Tumbleson said he didn't know if there were any truth to that rumor.

"We just don't know," he said. "We have no evidence either way to prove or dispel it. But my advice to parents is that if a child says he's going to a party or a friend's house, you need to do spot checks to make sure he's going where he says he is."

Among the searchers Thursday were several of Manley's friends who said they were compelled to spend their Christmas Eve looking for her because she was "someone who had touched their lives."

"She's trustworthy. She's sweet. She's a good friend," said Marissa Hernandez, 14, of Ventura.

"She's nice, sweet, funny, kind of quiet but not shy," said Tara Gustafson, 16, of Ojai. "She's somebody you turn to when you're not feeling good."

"She's not one to run away," added Faryn Kapala, 16, of Ojai. "She was too easygoing."

Outfitted in jeans and sweatshirts, the three teen-agers and two of their friends spent the morning searching the Ojai Trail from the fork in the road where highways 33 and 150 meet to Soule Park. They jumped into ditches, tromped through underbrush and used sticks to break open trash bags littered with discarded malt liquor and beer bottles.

"We'll keep coming back every day until we can find some clue that leads to our friend," Gustafson said.

Candlelight Prayer Service

The friends and family of Kali Manley of Oak View will hold a prayer service tonight for the 14-year-old girl who has been missing since Saturday night. The service is set for 7 p.m. at Libbey Park in downtown Ojai. Participants should take their own candles.

Search Continues For Missing 14-year-old Girl
by Lenny Roberts © 1998 The Ojai Valley News

The Ventura County Sheriff's major crimes unit has accelerated the search for 14-year-old Kali Manley, the missing Oak View girl who was last seen late Saturday night with two local men in their 20s outside the Circle K in Mira Monte.

Based at a sheriff's command post established at Nordhoff High School Wednesday, 75 civilian volunteers joined more than 90 sworn officers and Search and Rescue volunteers from Ojai, Camarillo and Fillmore in an intense ground and air search of the lesser-populated areas of the Valley.

Manley is described as being 5-foot, 3-inches tall, 110 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a dark sweatshirt, a pink tank top and jeans and may have been barefoot.

One of the men reportedly seen with Manley was arrested Monday morning at a Fulton Street residence for allegedly brandishing an unknown weapon at or near the Circle K at 1:20 a.m. Sunday morning, according to sheriff's officials, and was being held for questioning.

Officials said Manley was identified as the girl sitting between the two men in a green truck, which was found Wednesday morning parked in a driveway on Longhorn Lane on Persimmon Hill. It is believed that major crimes investigators have impounded the vehicle for possible evidence.

Although detectives aren't saying much about her disappearance, a source close to Manley said the missing girl spent Saturday afternoon Christmas shopping with her boyfriend and another boy, and that she was later dropped off at the Pegasus Street home of a girlfriend by the father one of the boys after she told him that she was invited there for a sleepover.

The source added Manley knew the man who was arrested as the brother of a female friend of the girl who was hosting the sleepover, and that Manley had recently moved to Oak View from Oxnard.

Sheriff's officials confirmed Manley's parents called the Pegasus house Sunday afternoon looking for their daughter after she failed to return home and were told by the sleepover hostess that Kali had left the housejust prior to the call an allegedly fabricated story that was later recanted.

As police officials and volunteers converged at the command post, a backpack was discovered behind the Nordhoff Stadium bleachers and a pair of shoes were found nearby. However, according to Sr. Dep. Kim Garrett, specially trained search dogs "did not hit on them," meaning the items probably did not carry Manley's scent.

Authorities said they plan to search for Manley around the clock in two, 12-hour shifts for at least the next three days. By Wednesday night, ground searchers had covered approximately 30 locations, including the Ojai Valley Trail from Von's Market to Foster Park; Highway 150 from Reeves Road to Dennison Park; the Boardman Road area off East Ojai Avenue; much of San Antonio and Thacher creeks; Meyer Road off Rice Road; the Ventura River bottom from Santa Ana Road to the Sheriff's Honor Farm; Besant Meadows and many other remote areas.

The search was expected to expand north on Highway 33 beginning Christmas Eve.
The two-helicopter air search, which began Tuesday, continued each night during after-dark hours using forward-looking infrared (FLIR) night-vision equipment.
Through Sr. Dep. Garrett, Captain Jim Barrett, serving as the incident commander, said the search began when Manley was reported missing, and was "stepped-up a notch" Wednesday.

A $3,000 reward fund has been established by the family for information leading to Manley's return. The reward fund is expected to be enhanced by co-workers at the Ojai Valley Community Hospital, where Manley's mother, Holly, is a nurse, according to nurse Suzanne Burens.

Anyone with information regarding Manley's disappearance is urged to call the Ojai Police Department at 646-1414.

Ojai City Manager Andy Belknap shared in the concern for Manley.
"We're all hoping they find her soon," Belknap said. "Everyone here is worried about her."

150 show up to hunt for girl 
GIVING UP HOLIDAY: They search ditches, backcountry around Oak View for missing 14-year-old.

By T.J. Sullivan
Staff writer Ventura County Star

Fourteen-year-old Kali Manley made more than 150 new friends for Christmas this year.

Little kids she's never met, like 9-year-old Austin McDonagh and his 12-year-old sister Sara, left their homes before 9 in the morning to help find her.

Then there was Hueneme High School student Liz Goodall and 17-year-old Josh Swallows, whom Manley might recognize from the hallways at Nordhoff High School. She couldn't have imagined that the upper classman she barely knew would give up his Christmas Day at home for her. Still, Swallows was there with dozens of other strangers.

Gregg Weeks, Kevin Arnolts, Travis Green, Tim Keough, Gary Douglas and his 13-year-old son, Josh -- they all gave the girl from Oak View their Christmas Day by hiking around ditches, wading through streams and walking along mountain roads to show her how much they cared.

But she didn't see any of it.

Manley, who was last seen a week ago in a green truck at a minimart near Ojai, still was missing late Christmas Day as search-and-rescue efforts were scaled down at sunset.

Ventura County sheriff's deputies, who have set up a command post at Nordhoff High, where Manley is a student, said they planned to resume the search with volunteers this morning, combing trails and roads from 9 to 5.

Fliers with the high school freshman's picture on them have been pasted on walls and set beside cash registers in markets throughout western Ventura County. A reward for information leading to her return was raised from $3,000 to $10,000.

Greg McDonagh, Austin and Sara's father, said he knew Manley when she was a little girl, but it's been so many years since he's seen her that recent photos were hardly familiar. McDonagh first became aware Thursday night that Manley was missing, so he and his family decided to spend Christmas Day looking for her.

"It's tragic any time of the year," McDonagh said.

After assignments were doled out by sheriff's deputies to more than 40 groups of volunteers, they got in their cars and pickups and fanned out to search.

Larry Swallows led a caravan of volunteers up Rice Road to search the area around a diversion dam. Each grabbed bottles of water and set out around and across the northern portion of the Ventura River, keeping in mind what police said Manley was wearing when she disappeared -- a black zip-down sweatshirt, pink tank top and jeans.

After tramping through the river near the end of Rice Road, Goodall and Arnolts were soaked through to the skin, but they didn't see any sign of Manley.

"It's worth doing," Goodall said as she waited for other volunteers to return to a checkpoint so they could move on to another area. "It reminds me of my friend when she ran away."

Goodall said her friend was gone for a week with a boyfriend.

"She came back and acted like nothing happened," Goodall said.

Arnolts scuffed his shoes on the dirt road and said he couldn't imagine what Manley's father, Charles, is going through.

"I can," Goodall said. "He's E worrying, wondering if she's cold or hungry.

"It's sad. She should be home eating a big old Christmas turkey."

Man leads DA to body 
Says it's missing girl in drainage pipe 

By James T. Bernath
Staff writer Ventura County Star

The massive weeklong search for a missing 14-year-old Oak View girl ended on a tragic note Saturday at mile post 44 on Highway 33.

A man questioned in the disappearance of Kali Manley led authorities to a drainage pipe in the remote Pine Mountain area where a body believed to be her was found.

David Alvarez, 22, of Oak View, has known exactly where the body was, and for several days his attorney, Louis "Chuck" Samonsky of Ventura, tried to get a promise from the District Attorney's Office that his client would not face the death penalty if he were convicted of murder in the case.

Around midweek, Samonsky said, he asked District Attorney Michael Bradbury a theoretical question about Kali, for whom the cause of death was not known Saturday. Although authorities believe the body is Kali's, they said positive identification has not officially been made. 

Officials did not reveal any information about whether she suffered any injuries or any other information about what they found at the scene.

"I said, 'If I had such information (the location of the girl's body), could you give me a guarantee that there would be no death penalty in a capital offense conviction?' "

The DA gave a "final no" on Thursday, said Samonsky, a high-profile and longtime local attorney.

Samonsky knew for several days that Alvarez, who is in custody on unrelated charges, knew where Kali's body was but initially advised his client not to lead authorities to a crime scene in which they might find evidence that could be used against him.

After consulting with another legal source, however, Samonsky changed his mind and told Alvarez to lead authorities to the site, which Sheriff's Sgt. Chuck Buttell described as "very rugged country E with snow on the ground and ice on the road."

"David had been under pressure from his family; they didn't know for sure if he knew where the body was, but said if he did he should take police to it," Samonsky said.

On Saturday afternoon, Bradbury drove Alvarez and Samonsky to the Pine Mountain site, and a host of law enforcement personnel also drove up and flew by chopper.

"David took them directly to the body," Samonsky said. "It was in a drainage pipe under Highway 33 as you head north on the back side of Pine Mountain, maybe 10 miles from the peak. There is a large drainage pipe -- about 6 feet wide -- that goes under the highway." The area is in Ventura County, about 30 miles north of Ojai.

After the body was found, about 2 p.m., deputies drove Alvarez back to the Ventura County Jail. Samonsky said Alvarez said nothing during the drive to implicate himself in the crime but merely led authorities to the body.

Although Buttell said Alvarez is not being held in connection with Kali's death but rather on unrelated charges -- making terrorist threats and brandishing a firearm -- his original bail was raised during the week to $250,000, Samonsky said. He said the terrorist charge occurred when he shouted some threats during "a happenstance meeting" with someone.

Reportedly, Bradbury informed Samonsky that his client is a suspect in the case, but officially, Buttell said, "There is no one in custody for this crime."

Alvarez and another man, who apparently has been questioned in the case but was not in custody as of late Saturday, reportedly were seen on the night of Dec. 19 with Kali in a green pickup truck near the Circle K convenience store in nearby Mira Monte.

Her father, Charles Manley, 43, an Oxnard school teacher, has said his daughter told him on Saturday night she would be spending the night at a friend's house.

As authorities began the process of investigating what Buttell said is now a homicide, the family of Kali Manley began dealing with its loss.

Shortly before 4 p.m. on the grounds of Nordhoff High School, which served as the command post during the search, Kali's uncle, Jim Manley, made a brief statement.

"On behalf of my brother and the Manley family, we're devastated at this time, at this news," Manley said. He thanked what he estimated to be more than 1,200 volunteers who turned out over the past seven days to help in the search "for our beloved Kali, a most wonderful girl." As he tried to continue, Manley was overcome with emotion and ended his statement.

Outside Kali Manley's home, a family friend said her relatives were inside but would have no comment for at least a couple of days.

A friend of Kali's stood nearby and listened as Kali's fate was announced.

"This is a really sad time," said Maureen Stoval of Oak View, who, like Kali, is 14.

Maureen had seen Kali briefly recently and the two former schoolmates had shared greetings. Kali was a freshman at Nordhoff High and Maureen was a freshman at Ventura High. She said they attended DeAnza Middle School together last year.

Maureen said her friend was "a person you could count on. She was really friendly, but she was shy. And she was trustworthy."

A few of the others who helped in the search also stood nearby and listened as Sgt. Buttell spoke. He estimated that 300 people per day helped in the search, which included helicopters, horses and dogs. At one point during the week, authorities said they would be searching more than 70 sites throughout the Ojai Valley. Officials said the area where the body was found was on the list and would have been searched soon.

Buttell spent considerable time praising what he described as one of the largest search efforts with which he has ever been involved.
"This was an amazing thing ... Unfortunately it would appear that this has come to a very tragic end."

Manley's death ruled homicide 
CORONER: Official confirms body found in pipe was that of missing teen-ager. 

By Catherine Saillant
Staff writer Ventura County Star

Ventura County's medical examiner confirmed Sunday that a body found below a frigid mountain road was that of 14-year-old Oak View resident Kali Manley, while more details about a man being questioned in her death emerged.

Dr. Ronald O'Halloran said Kali's death has been ruled a homicide but disclosed no details of how and when she died. Sheriff's detectives requested that the cause of death be withheld one or two days while they finish their investigation, O'Halloran said.

Kali's family, meanwhile, spent Sunday grieving and organizing two memorial services for Tuesday -- what would have been her 15th birthday. The first will begin at 2:30 p.m. at Ojai Valley Community Church, 907 El Centro, Ojai, said Jim Manley, Kali's uncle.

A second service will take place at 3:30 p.m. at Nordhoff High School in Ojai, where Kali was a ninth-grader with an artistic flair. Manley said Kali's parents, Charles and Holly Manley, and her two sisters, 17-year-old Chelsea and 11-year-old Eliza, are struggling to get through each day.

"There are no words to say when a nightmare like this happens," a visibly shaken Manley said outside the family's modest home. "I have to admire this family's strength."

The family is requesting that donations to a trust fund to offset Kali's funeral expenses be made in lieu of flowers. The fund will be established today at Ojai Valley Bank in Oak View.

Up to 300 volunteers spent the holiday week scouring the hillsides, valleys and brush around the Ojai Valley after Kali's disappearance Dec. 19. She was last seen outside a Circle K minimart on Highway 33 in Mira Monte with two men in a green pickup truck.

No arrests had been made by late Sunday. David Alvarez, who has been in custody since Dec. 20 for investigation of making terrorist threats and brandishing a firearm, led searchers to the girl's body in a mountain ravine off Highway 33 about 30 miles north of Ojai on Saturday.

Sheriff's officials refused to comment on Alvarez's alleged connection to Kali's slaying or disappearance. But his attorney, Louis "Chuck" Samonsky of Ventura, confirmed that his client is being questioned in the case.

Alvarez, 22, of Ojai, was arrested Dec. 21 after getting into an argument with a woman. While he was in custody, investigators discovered he might have information about Kali's disappearance, Samonsky said.

A Superior Court judge raised Alvarez's bail to $250,000 after authorities filed an affidavit saying they believed Alvarez was one of the last people to see Kali alive, Samonsky said.

Alvarez led authorities to Kali's body after the failure of efforts to secure a deal with prosecutors in which he could avoid a death penalty if he were convicted in the case.

While declining to discuss his client's role in Kali's disappearance, Samonsky said Alvarez was motivated to help police out of concern for her family.

"When someone leads police to a body, one immediately wonders what part, if any, that person had in any foul play," he said. "That is a legitimate question."

But Alvarez's neighbors in Ojai portray the man they know as "Davi" in a darker light.

"How would I describe him? A bad attitude. A bad seed," said a clerk at the Ojai Locker Market, just down the street from a home in the 200 block of North Fulton Avenue where neighbors say Alvarez has stayed recently.

Another neighbor was more blunt: "I'm glad he's gone," said the woman, who asked not to be identified.

Court records show that Alvarez has been arrested on a variety of offenses over the past few years. 

He pleaded guilty to a January 1996 count of battery and later that year to charges of theft and resisting arrest.

Alvarez was arrested and charged in August with inflicting corporal injury on his wife, from whom he is now separated, according to Samonsky. He pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to stand trial on that charge in January.

Alvarez contends that the only injury his wife suffered during that late summer argument was a small cut to her leg when she kicked a window out in frustration, his attorney said.

Friend warned girl who was slain 
Kali Manley: Details of her final evening are revealed. 

By Amy Bentley and Bruce McLean
Staff writers Ventura County Star

Late in the evening of Dec. 19, David Ramiro Alvarez's reputation as a violent man led a friend to warn 14-year-old Kali Manley not to get in his truck.

She got in anyway.

Later, in the parking lot of the Circle K, as Manley and his friend, Robert Miears, sat in his truck, Alvarez allegedly pulled a gun on a woman with whom he had an ongoing dispute.

He then allegedly took the girl to a nearby mobile home to drink and have sex. She was never seen again until Alvarez led investigators to her corpse Saturday.

As sheriff's investigators and court records on Monday revealed these details of Kali Manley's final evening, investigators also confirmed what had been obvious since Alvarez led investigators to Manley's body on Saturday -- David Alvarez is their prime suspect.

"We expect to have an arrest in 24 to 48 hours," sheriff's Major Crimes Capt. Mike Regan said during a press conference Monday morning.

Alvarez appeared in Ventura County Superior Court on Monday. He was charged with making terrorist threats and assault with a firearm for the gun-brandishing incident. An arraignment was postponed to Jan. 4 and Alvarez remains jailed with bail set at $250,000 while the murder investigation continues.

"He's upset," said Jay Johnson, a Ventura attorney serving as spokesman for Alvarez's parents. "He's crying, he's emotionally distraught, he's not sleeping. He's a mess."

Court records relating to that case, as well as Regan's statements during Monday's press conference, revealed the following details:

According to a court document filed last week in which sheriff's officials sought to raise Alvarez's $20,000 bail, trouble started the evening of Dec. 19 about 10:15 p.m.

Alvarez and a friend showed up at the Oak View home of Kim Schmelz, with whose daughter he apparently had an ongoing dispute. Alvarez stood by the garage while his friend knocked on the front door. Kim Schmelz's son answered the door and the friend asked for the daughter. The brother said his sister was not home. Alvarez allegedly told the brother he would return with his gun and "take care of him." Alvarez and his friend then left.

Sometime after that, Alvarez and Robert Miears went to the Ojai area home of 14-year-old Ashley Helfrich, a friend of Kali's, police said.

Kali had called her parents to let them know she was sleeping at Ashley's home after a small gathering of friends.

Ashley told police Alvarez and Miears came over and asked the girls to come outside.

"Ashley declined and informed the two guys her mother was coming home and they shouldn't be there. Ashley told Kali not to go out but Kali went out the door and met the two guys," the affidavit says.

Ashley said she went back to her room to watch television. When she checked the front of her house 15 minutes later, Manley and the two young men were gone.

It's unclear if Kali knew Alvarez or Miears. But Kali's and Ashley's friends knew Alvarez and knew his reputation for violence.

Alvarez is awaiting trial for suspicion of battering his estranged wife in the summer and has a prior conviction for resisting arrest.

"He had a real short temper," said Rebecca Harvard, 15, who stood outside Ashley's home Monday. "Everybody talked about violent things he'd done in the past."

About 12:15 a.m. the morning of Dec. 20, Kim Schmelz told police, she went to the Circle K store in Mira Monte. As she pulled in the parking lot, Alvarez drove in next to her, with Miears and a blond girl. In front of his two passengers, Alvarez made threats to Kim Schmelz about "getting her."

Schmelz told Alvarez to leave her alone and went in the store. She used her cell phone to call her husband and 9-1-1 to report the threats. As Schmelz pulled out of the parking lot, Alvarez did, too, and blocked Schmelz's exit.

Then Alvarez pointed a gun at Schmelz, told her she was history and said, "I'm going to take you down," the affidavit said. Schmelz drove off.

Miears -- who investigators say is not a suspect -- told deputies he, Alvarez and Kali had gone to the store and Miears went in to buy wine coolers. He said that when he got back into the truck, Alvarez said the woman in the next vehicle was calling the police and they needed to leave.

The trio then drove to the Ojai Oaks Village mobile home park. They entered the home at space 95, which Alvarez's parents were reportedly trying to buy for their son. Alvarez took Kali into the master bedroom, according to Miears. He said Alvarez and Kali were drinking wine coolers.

"David told Robert he was going to have sex with Kali. He asked Robert if he had a problem with that, did he want to stay or leave. Robert didn't have a problem with it and went to sleep. When Robert awoke that morning around 10 a.m., David and Kali were gone."

Miears told police that later that day, after Alvarez dropped Miears off at the Capri Motel in Ojai, Alvarez phoned Miears at the motel and said he'd left Kali at the Circle K.

Alvarez told police he had gone to the Helfrich house with Miears, picked up Kali, then drove to the Circle K. He initially denied going to the trailer but when confronted with Miears' statement, Alvarez told police he and Miears went there but Kali was not with them.

12/29/98 The Ojai Valley News
More than a week after being taken into custody, 22-year-old David Alvarez will soon be formally charged with multiple felonies, including the murder of 14-year-old Kali Manley of Oak View, authorities said.
While major crimes detectives fine-tuned their case against Alvarez, who remains in custody with bail set at $250,000, District Attorney Michael Bradbury reportedly notified the state attorney general's office Monday, warning of a possible conflict of interest if the case is prosecuted locally because of his friendship with the Alvarez family.
Accompanied by prominent defense attorney Louis "Chuck" Samonsky and Bradbury, Alvarez led sheriff's major crimes detectives to Manley's body the day after Christmas. Manley's body was placed inside a Maricopa Highway drainage culvert near mile marker 44, some 35 miles north of downtown Ojai between Pine Mountain and Lockwood Valley Road.
The county coroner's office conducted an autopsy Sunday to determine how, when and, possibly, where the Nordhoff High School freshman, who would have turned 15 yesterday, died. However, the results of the autopsy have not been released.
According to sources, Manley told her parents that she was going to a sleepover at the Pegasus Street home of a girlfriend Dec. 19 after doing some Christmas shopping, accompanied by her boyfriend and another male juvenile.
Sources added the girl hosting the sleepover is a friend of Alvarez' sister. The father of one of the boys on the shopping trip dropped Manley off at the Pegasus Street house at her request.
When Manley's father called the Pegasus Street residence the afternoon of Dec. 20 to speak with his daughter, authorities said he was told by the girl hosting the sleepover that Kali left the house earlier that day. When Manley failed to return home by late Sunday afternoon, her parents reported her as missing. It was later learned that Manley left the sleepover-turned-drinking-party with Alvarez sometime the night before, allegedly to obtain alcohol.
Alvarez was arrested in Ojai at 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 21 at a Fulton Street residence for allegedly brandishing a handgun and making terrorist threats at the Mira Monte Circle K the previous day at 1:20 a.m.
Although Manley was supposed to be at the sleepover, she was identified as being with Alvarez at the time of the alleged brandishing, according to Sheriff's Capt. Keith Parks.
"Alvarez got into an altercation with someone he ran into. I don't know if it was clerk or someone else," Parks said of the Circle K incident.
Alvarez, whom authorities said was drinking prior to his attempt to purchase alcohol, allegedly pulled out a handgun and made terrorist threats toward the victim, later identified as Kim Schmelz of Oak View, he met in the Circle K parking lot. Alvarez' green Toyota pickup truck was seen leaving the minimart, but was not recovered until it was spotted by local deputies at his parents' Persimmon Hill home the day after his arrest. The truck was then impounded by major crimes detectives.
At a press conference Monday morning, major crimes Capt. Mike Regan said Manley left the Pegasus Street address willingly with Alvarez. After the alleged brandishing incident at Circle K, they and another man went to a Woodland Avenue mobile home, where Alvarez went into a bedroom with Manley.
The other man told authorities that he went to sleep on the couch and when he awoke Sunday morning, both Alvarez and Manley were gone. The Ojai Valley News has elected not to identify the man accompanying Alvarez and Manley because he has not been charged in the case.
Parks said when authorities learned of the brandishing incident and of the report that Manley was missing and last seen with Alvarez, plans for a massive search were under way.
By Wednesday, hundreds of sworn officers, search and rescue personnel and citizen volunteers gathered at a command post quickly established at Nordhoff High School to begin four days of scouring the immediate area, the Ventura River bottom and brush in the surrounding hills and backcountry.
"All the obvious places," said Senior Dep. Kim Garrett, who served as command post press information officer.
Court records indicate Alvarez has been arresed as an adult for resisting arrest and petty theft. He has also bee arrested for felony offenses in the past, including battery and sex crimes against his wife of three years with whom he has a child. He faces court on the battery charge in January. The couple is estranged.
Before the search was called off Saturday, with more than 250 people involved, mounted patrol deputies came within five miles of the location where Manley's body was found. Parks said had Alvarez not led them to the body, Manley would have surely been found sometime Sunday by the search teams.
"When Alvarez was interviewed, we felt his statements were inconsistent. We had our suspicions about him," Parks said.
"We didn't know if Kali just ran off and was missing or she was killed and dropped off the road somewhere."
Samonsky said Tuesday that although Alvarez wanted to tell authorities where Manley's body could be found; he had recommended delaying the disclosure until a possible deal could be made with Bradbury to ensure that Alvarez would not be given the death penalty if convicted of Manley's murder. After hearing the hypothetical scenario as presented by Samonsky Dec. 22, Bradbury refused Christmas Eve and the search continued.
According to law, attorney/client confidentiality privileges generally preclude any potential criminal charges against attorneys.
"Not only does the privilege protect the attorney from criminal charges, but generally, the attorney is subject to discipline for violating those privileges," said Ventura defense attorney Jim Nelson.
"It is hoped that the district attorney's office had a policy in place to deal with such circumstances, thereby causing no undue delay in responding to Samonsky's hypothetical statement."
Samonsky said he spent Christmas Day consulting with the best legal minds he could find addressing his ethical obligation. While many said it would be unethical to disclose the information, others told him it was the moral thing to do.
"It was a very difficult decision, but I had extreme concern for the family," Samonsky said. 
When asked whether there was a chance Manley was alive when she was left in the culvert, Samonsky said, "If I had even one moment's thought that that was a remote possibility, I would have taken that information to the authorities."
Samonsky said he could not discuss the case further.
Overwhelming opposition to Samonky's actions are evident by letters to the editor and responses to the Ojai Valley News Web site poll. 
Parks, after leaning that Samonsky allegedly tried to broker a deal with Bradbury, said, "Even at that point, we continued the search. Alvarez led us up there, but we didn't know if Kali was really there or not."
Alvarez, whose parents reportedly own a string of fast-food restaurants throughout the country, briefly attended Laurel Springs School for less than a month a few years ago before being booted out, according to former administrator and teacher Rich Handley, who now works in a similar capacity at Mountain View High School.
"He was dismissed from school because we didn't think he was really tuned in to what we expected him to do in terms of schoolwork, homework and so forth," Handley said.
Alvarez was also refused admission to Nordhoff High School because of a policy that refers children coming from other schools or alternative schools to continuation schools, such as Gateway or Chaparral High School, if they are behind the learning curve expected after the ninth grade. When they "catch up," they may then be enrolled, authorities said.
After being told to leave campus on one of his many visits at the time he was refused admittance to Nordhoff, Alvarez was arrested for trespassing and threatening a school administrator, whom he allegedly threatened to punch in the face, according to a school official .
Preferring to remain anonymous, the educator said Alvarez would show up on campus and always had lots of girlfriends. The educator also remembered Alvarez' parents as being very kind, polite and "nothing like their son." 
Despite being a newcomer to Nordhoff, Manley was described by Assistant Principal Susanna Arce as a nice girl who did not get into any trouble during her short tenure.
"She was a good kid. Something like this should never have happened. It was her first year here and she was here on a special permit because she lived in Oak View," Arce said.
"We all feel just horrible about this. Kids have a sense of security here, but at 14 years old, some kids make mistakes. I feel very sorry for both sets of parents."
Memorial services were held yesterday at the Ojai Valley Community Church in Mira Monte and at Nordhoff High School.
The Kali Manley Memorial Fund has been established at the Ojai Valley Bank in OakView.
Hundreds Gather For Kali's Memorial Services
Article and Photos by Lenny Roberts
1/1/99 The Ojai Valley News

As community outrage continued to mount against the attorney who withheld information that eventually lead authorities to the location of her body, hundreds of Ojai Valley residents joined family members, friends, classmates and others Tuesday in remembering Kali Manley on what would have been her 15th birthday.

Amid rampant rumors that have been circulating throughout the Ojai Valley since her body was found in a Maricopa Highway drainage culvert Dec. 26, Sr. Dep Coroner Craig Stevens said Wednesday that Manley died by asphyxia due to manual strangulation, thus confirming that she was murdered.

Visibly shaken at times while addressing an estimated 600 people at the Ojai Valley Community Church in the first of two afternoon memorial services, Chuck Manley eulogized his daughter as an adventuresome girl whose laughter and silliness brought much joy to the family.
"Life is less for those who didn't know Kali," her father said.
"Kali was a part of this valley ... her spirit was filled with these mountains. She was a part of the canyon. It was there she could feel open and radiate her love. It is there that we will go to spread her ashes; we will speak to her and she will speak to us."
Pastor Paul Bergmann began the service by stressing the importance of celebrating Kali's life. He described her as a loving kid who would not want those she left behind to focus on anger or revenge.

"Pain is the touchstone of life. We all experience it sooner or later. Today, there's a whole lot of pain before me," Bergman began.
"For many, the holidays are not the best of times, they are the worst of times a time that amplifies loss, whether it be a loss of life, of love, of a marriage, finances, hopes or dreams. The Manley family will walk through sacred ground in the months ahead. I pray and trust God will walk with them."

Manley's grandmother, Jackie Durschinger, said she purchased a candle to give to Kali for Christmas.
"It never got wrapped. I will light that candle today and we'll light many more. And in that light, I'll be loving Kali..." she said prior to reading a poem she wrote in memory of her grand-daughter.

In an open letter to the Ojai Valley community, Sheriff Bob Brooks thanked the citizens and businesses that helped in the search for the missing girl.
"While the department has conducted many different searches under a variety of circumstances over the years, this one will forever remainetched in our memory," Brooks wrote.
"Astonishment might be the best word to describe what occurred Christmas morning at our search headquarters, Our staff arrived at daybreak to find 150 volunteers ready to give of their precious time on a day usually reserved for celebrations with family and friends. That response speaks volumes about the heart of the Ojai Valley."

As the Los Angeles television media waited politely outside the church, Kali's paintings and drawings stood in silent memory, waiting to be packed up and returned to the Larmier Street home of her family. Beside them were colorful flowers in three little vases simply addressed to "Mrs. Manley," Kali's mother, Holly.

Prominently displayed was a large board full of family photographs Kali had finished the day before she disappeared, presumably a holiday present to her family.

"It's truly awesome," Bergman stated. "Every picture has a personal anecdote. It's an album that just exploded out at you with love and life."
Bergman spoke of visiting the Manley home and seeing many pictures of the family cat in Kali's room a cat he was told survived for seven years after being diagnosed with leukemia.
"Kali loved that cat into a full life. The love of that child gave a very ill cat a reason to live, and I pray that the love of God will give this hurting family a purposeful and full life in the years ahead," Bergman said.

Under the direction of Bill Wagner, the Nordhoff Choir closed the memorial service with "Amazing Grace."

Later, the mood was less somber at Nordhoff High School as hundreds of students and adults joined those who attended the church memorial to bid farewell to Kali. While some openly wept, others hugged and reflected on Kali's life.

"She had a good sense of humor and was really funny," said physical education classmate Keri Hart, 16. "I'm here because I knew her and wanted to pay my respects."
Erin Miller, also 16, went to the command post twice to help in the search operations, but was unable to participate either time.
"I never got to look for her. The first time, I was told it was too late in the day, and the second time, they said the search had been called off," Miller said. "If that were me or one of my good friends, I would want everybody helping. I didn't know her, but it's really sad."

As more and more people arrived in the Nordhoff courtyard area, Chuck Manley had a message for the youth of Ojai: "You are not to drink alcohol or use drugs tonight. We need to send Kali off with a clear mind and clearspirit, and I hope you would honor our family's wishes."
Speaking to reporters, Manley said he was thankful for the love and support shown his family.
"It does lessen the blow," he said. "I'm asking everybody here to remember Kali and to send her on her way tonight. We're here to think good thoughts. It's a positive celebration."

Jim Manley, Kali's uncle and family spokesperson during the massive four- day search and rescue operation, requested that everyone at Nordhoff write a personal remembrance of Kali on a small piece of paper. To "help lift Kali's spirit," the papers were later burned along with candles and incense. 
"While you're here, we want you to visit with each other and make some new friends," he added.
"Kali would want it that way."

© 1999 The Ojai Valley News

Suspect's link to slaying no shock
KALI MANLEY SLAYING: Acquaintances say David Alvarez showed pattern of violence.
By Tamara Koehler
Staff writer

David Alvarez apparently had all the advantages -- wealth, a spacious family home in sight of the Topatopa Mountains, vicarious prestige in the community through his well-respected parents.

But all the trappings and opportunities did not save him from a life of crime and violence. And while many are shocked at the murder of 14-year-old Kali Manley, some say they are not surprised the prime suspect is "Davi" (pronounced Dah-vee) Alvarez, 22.

"When you use violence as a way to solve your problems or deal with people, then it's not that surprising to believe it could eventually lead to murder," said Ann Plusko, an aunt of Alvarez's estranged 19-year-old wife.

He gained his own brand of prestige among his friends in Ojai, teen-agers mostly who liked to drink and party hard. He was the tough guy, he had guns, he liked to fight.

And he liked younger girls.

There was Casey Schmelz, a pretty, waifish 15-year-old friend of his younger sister, Veronica. In the past year, Alvarez came onto her, hit her, and once put a gun to her head, she and her family said.

On the night Kali disappeared, Alvarez had showed up at Casey's house demanding to see her. Later, at the Circle K, he brandished a gun at Casey's mother in the parking lot and threatened, "I'm going to take you down," according to police reports.

There was a girl named Shawna, who was 15 when she met Alvarez four years ago, according to her aunt by marriage, Anita Jeffrey.

"He preyed on 14- and 15-year-old girls," said Jeffrey, who lives next door to the Manley family and often waved to Kali when she walked down the street. "He would ply them with alcohol and drugs; he introduced drugs to Shawna and used to beat her up. When her mother tried to put a stop to it, he threatened her."

And there was Brooke, with whom he has a 3-year-old son.

The two married after Brooke became pregnant at 16 three years ago. She dropped out of Nordhoff High School in the 10th grade to have her baby.

After their son was born, Alvarez continued his scrapes with the law, including stealing beers from the Circle K market and fleeing a police officer. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Casey Schmelz says Alvarez's parents sent the couple off to San Francisco, where they put them up in a house and gave Alvarez a job in the family's Supreme Chicken restaurant chain.

"They wanted him to straighten up and get away from this trouble," said Casey, who often talked about Alvarez's problems with his 15-year-old sister.

Veronica Alvarez became influenced by her elder brother and his friends, Casey and others said. The Alvarezes sent Veronica to a boarding school out of state this year, according to Jay Johnson, an attorney and spokesman for the family.

"They were not happy with some of the friends she was running around with and wanted to break that cycle," Johnson said.

As for their son, the Alvarezes "know where the warts are, but they love him and they are going to do what they can to help him," Johnson said.

Casey Schmelz said she believes that Alvarez's angry outbursts and violence frightened his parents.

"They were always trying to help him, even after he once stole their Suburban. They would buy him new stuff, a truck, whatever, to try and get him to come around."

The family owns a corporate chain of the restaurants and, according to Dun & Bradstreet financial records, the company's annual sales are close to $1 million.

Alvarez served his 30-day jail sentence in San Francisco through an agreement between the two jurisdictions.

But in early 1996, the couple moved back to Ojai and in with Brooke's mother, Mona Campbell. Shortly after, Alvarez was convicted of battering Campbell, court records show. He was again sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years' probation.

Finally, in August 1997, Brooke had had enough, her aunt said. She and Alvarez separated, but he repeatedly came to stay at Campbell's home, and threatened Brooke.

This continued for a year, until four months ago, when Alvarez spent the night at the house and "kept trying to force himself on me," Brooke wrote in a sworn affidavit supporting her request for a restraining order.

"He kept trying to kiss me and I kept resisting him, telling him no ... He pulled me into the bedroom and back onto the bed. He made it clear he wanted to have sex with me and I kept saying no.

"He was holding me on the bed by pushing on one of my shoulders. I was yelling for him to leave me alone, so he shut the bedroom window. In order to scare him off, I deliberately kicked the window out, cutting my heel and bruising the back of my leg."

Alvarez then went into the living room, where the couple's son was crying and saying, "Leave, dad. Leave mom alone," the affidavit states.

Brooke locked herself and the baby in the bathroom, but Alvarez broke in, grabbed her by the head and pushed her against a medicine cabinet. He then left and Brooke filed a police report.

"Brooke is getting on with her life now, getting her GED, and getting help from programs that help with this issue," said Plusko, who is helping her niece to get back on her feet.

In other court papers, Brooke Alvarez claims her husband has threatened her and her family, caused her to lose a job when he came to her workplace and hit a co-worker, and struck another male friend in the nose because the man liked her.

Brooke Alvarez filed for a divorce in August. Last week, a judge granted her a new restraining order and gave her sole legal and physical custody of their son.

This week, Alvarez will be arraigned on charges of brandishing a weapon and making terrorist threats to Kim Schmelz, the mother of young Casey. Sheriff's detectives are tying up their investigation of Alvarez before they present the case to the District Attorney's Office. Alvarez remains in jail with bail set at $250,000.

Those who knew Kali describe her as shy and sweet and unaware of Alvarez's reputation the night she stepped outside of the slumber party and into his green Toyota truck with him and his friend, Robert Miears.

The trio drove to the Circle K to buy a 12-pack of beer and then sped out of the parking lot after Alvarez allegedly threatened Schmelz with his gun.

Police say they then went to a mobile home that Alvarez's parents reportedly were arranging to buy for him. Miears told police he fell asleep on the couch after Alvarez took Kali into the bedroom to have sex with her. The next morning Miears woke up and they were gone. Alvarez later told Miears he dropped Kali off at the Circle K, police say.

Miears, who was staying at the Capri Motel in Ojai, refused comment this week and demanded that a reporter "get out of my face."

Tests are under way to determine whether Kali was sexually assaulted and whether drugs or alcohol were in her bloodstream at the time.

A week after her disappearance, Alvarez led detectives to her strangled body hidden in a drainage pipe in the mountains. He was weeping off and on as he gave directions, said Louis Samonsky, his attorney.

Meanwhile, the Alvarezes are sick with grief for the Manley family and their own son's potential involvement, Johnson said."You have two families completely destroyed overnight by this."

January 1999. All articles are © Ventura County Star, © Los Angeles Times & © The Ojai Valley News
Lawyer says Alvarez unlikely to face 
death-penalty charges
KALI MANLEY KILLING: Authorities still sorting out evidence.
By Amy Bentley
Staff writer  Ventura County Star

The attorney for an Ojai man suspected of strangling 14-year-old Kali Manley said Wednesday he has seen no evidence that could lead to death-penalty charges against jailed suspect David Alvarez.

Alvarez led police to the Oak View girl's body in a drainage pipe near Pine Mountain on Dec. 26. She had been strangled.

Alvarez, 22, of Ojai, remains under investigation in the murder but has not been charged or arrested.

He remains jailed on $250,000 bail on allegations he pointed a gun and threatened another woman in Mira Monte the same night he was seen with Kali in his truck at a Circle K store there.

Alvarez's court-appointed attorney, James Farley, said Wednesday he has not seen the voluminous police reports in the case.

But from what he has learned, Farley said he does not believe prosecutors could prove first-degree murder plus any special circumstances that could lead to a death sentence.

Farley said there appears to be no physical evidence Kali was sexually assaulted, and he questioned whether there is evidence of premeditation.

Deputy District Attorney Don Glynn said he has reviewed more than 600 pages of police reports and is still combing through reports before deciding what charges his office will file against Alvarez.

The earliest charges could be filed would be late next week, Glynn said.

"I haven't sorted out all the evidence yet," Glynn said.

Kali's parents, meanwhile, said they are being patient and trying to get back into their old routine. Kali's father, Chuck Manley, is a teacher and her mother, Holly, is a nurse, and both have gone back to work, Holly Manley said Wednesday.

"We understand the process takes time. They haven't told us anything. We're doing fine and we have a lot of faith in our system," Holly Manley said.

Circle K videotape could provide 
clues in Kali's death
by Lenny Roberts  1/22/99

Sheriff's Capt. Keith Parks confirmed Tuesday that major crimes detectives are in possession of a security camera videotape taken at the Circle K on the night Kali Manley was last seen alive.
Parks stopped short of divulging whether the video contains the image of either David Alvarez, the prime suspect in Manley's murder, or of the 14-year-old murder victim.
"I don't know what it shows, or who it shows, but certainly we have live witnesses at the scene of people who know Alvarez," said Parks, press information officer in the case.
"The detectives aren't telling me what's on the tape because they don't want that information to go out. All of it will come out if there is a trial."
Alvarez was arrested Dec. 21 at the Fulton Street home of his mother-in-law two days after he allegedly brandished a handgun and made terrorist threats toward a woman during a chance encounter at the Mira Monte convenience store.
The woman, Kim Schmelz, is the mother of a teen-age girl who reportedly had spurned Alvarez' advances, which may have led to the alleged confrontation.
When detectives saw the report of the incident at Circle K, and put the woman's allegations together with another report indicating that Manley failed to return home after telling her parents that she was spending the night at a girlfriend's house near the Circle K, the 22-year-old Alvarez was taken into custody.
Alvarez has yet to be arrested for Manley's murder, even after leading authorities to her lifeless body that had been stuffed into a Maricopa Highway drainage culvert.
"Obviously, he's our suspect. We've done quite a bit of investigation in this case and haven't taken it to the district attorney because we had the convenience of putting as much time into it as we wanted," Parks said.
"This is unique and rarely happens when you have this much time because he's in custody on other felony charges."
Parks said he does not know if the gun Alvarez allegedly brandished has been recovered and will not release any details of Manley's murder.
"The detectives are really not talking. They don't want to give a lot out. 
"They are interviewing witnesses who may have seen or heard something that would indicate what Alvarez did while interacting with Kali, and after that point," Parks explained.
"We don't want to taint what information they have by releasing information that we've received or confirmed. Our intent is to take statements from people that are uninhibited or unaffected by what other people have said," Parks stated.
Alvarez remains in custody with bail set at $250,000 for the alleged brandishing and terrorist threats. His arraignment was postponed Thursday until Feb. 4.
"If the judge reduces his bail to the point that makes it conceivable he could be released, it would be likely we would be in a position where we'd have to make an arrest," Parks concluded.

© 1999 The Ojai Valley News
State will prosecute slaying of local girl 
KALI MANLEY CASE: Attorney General's Office agrees to take over for county DA.
By Amy Bentley
Staff writer

State prosecutors took over the Kali Manley murder case Tuesday at the request of Ventura County District Attorney Michael Bradbury, as new details emerged that the 14-year-old Oak View girl was found nude and might have been the victim of an attempted rape.

In a Jan. 28 letter to the Attorney General's Office, Bradbury asked state prosecutors to take over all cases against suspect David Alvarez. Bradbury described the possible death-penalty case against Alvarez as "involving the murder and attempted rape of Kali Manley."

Alvarez's court-appointed lawyer, James Farley, said Tuesday he has not received the police or lab reports on the case but has not heard of any evidence that proves Alvarez, 22, tried to rape Kali.

"I was just told she was found naked, wrapped in a sheet at the scene," Farley said. Prosecutors will not comment on the evidence.

Alvarez, of Ojai, is suspected in Kali's strangulation death but has not been charged. He is jailed on $250,000 bail on other cases.

Bradbury first wrote the Attorney General's Office for an opinion about his possible conflict of interest in prosecuting Alvarez on Dec. 24, two days before Alvarez led his lawyer, Bradbury and police to Kali's body in a remote drain pipe near Pine Mountain. Bradbury wrote that Alvarez's parents, Eugene and Marie Alvarez of Ojai, were his friends and political supporters.

Bradbury said then he did not believe he had a conflict and officials in the Attorney General's Office agreed. That led Alvarez's attorney to say he would ask a judge to remove Bradbury's office over the issue.

Last week, however, Bradbury reconsidered and wrote the Attorney General's Office again, saying it was imperative that state prosecutors step in. On Tuesday, the state agreed to take over the Manley case and two other cases in which Alvarez is charged with battering his estranged wife and of pointing a gun at a woman the night Manley was last seen at a Circle K market in Mira Monte.

Bradbury said many considerations led him to beg off the Manley case. He noted his relationship with the Alvarezes and the fact that he participated in the recovery of Kali's body after Alvarez's first attorney unsuccessfully sought a deal to avoid the death penalty.

Bradbury also noted the intense public and media interest in the case, especially in Ojai and Oak View, where scores of residents helped to search for Kali and where Bradbury and the Alvarez family live. That interest would have led to scrutiny of his every move in the case, Bradbury said.

He said he believes he could be been fair but wrote, "I am equally convinced that this commitment to impartiality cannot overcome the appearance of impropriety. The fact of my friendship with the defendant's parents is certain to raise serious questions in the public's mind about all case-related decisions by this office. In turn, the ultimate verdict in this case will be questioned and public confidence in the criminal justice system's integrity may be permanently harmed."

Farley said Tuesday that Bradbury made the right decision because he would have raised the conflict of interest issue throughout the case.

Attorney General's Office spokesman Nathan Barankin said it would be three to four weeks before the state files charges and decides whether to seek the death penalty.

(Possibly the "Kali Manley Bill")
Bill: No legal privilege if crime victim missing
By Amy Bentley
Staff writer

Responding to public outrage that an Ojai murder suspect's lawyer kept secret the location of a slain teen's body to protect his client, Assemblyman Tony Strickland has introduced legislation to remove attorney-client privilege in cases where a crime victim is missing.

The attorney-client privilege generally stops lawyers from revealing information they receive from clients, including the location of missing people. Strickland's bill also would require lawyers with such knowledge to report it to the police.

Strickland, a Republican who represents Camarillo, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Oxnard and Port Hueneme, introduced the bill as a result of the slaying of 14-year-old Kali Manley of Oak View.

Kali disappeared from Oak View on Dec. 19 after she was seen at a convenience store in a truck with David Alvarez, 22. He is suspected of strangling Kali and leaving her body in a drainage pipe near Pine Mountain. She was found Dec. 26 after Alvarez led officials to the frigid culvert. Alvarez remains jailed while prosecutors review possible charges.

Ventura County citizens were outraged when they learned Alvarez's lawyer remained quiet the week before Christmas although he was aware that Alvarez knew the slain girl's whereabouts. All the while, deputies, Kali's family and volunteers scoured the area searching for Kali and hoped she was still alive.

The whole situation disgusted him, Strickland said Thursday.

"No family should have to go through what this family went through. My heart goes out to that family. I really wanted to do something about this. It's about time we start protecting the victims and their families."

Strickland's staff told the Manleys about the bill and Kali's father was supportive, said Strickland aide Joel Angeles.

Strickland said he knows the bill will face strong opposition from lawyers but his staff worked hard for months to ensure the bill will pass constitutional muster.

Ventura County Sheriff Bob Brooks said Thursday he would support such a law.

"We would certainly want any attorney, if it was going to save the life of a victim, to divulge that information. ... I think the rights have to go to the victim," Brooks said. "If you were a parent, there would be no debate about it."

Brooks said the Manley case and Strickland's bill illustrate the delicate balance that exists between the rights of crime victims to be saved if possible and defendants' rights.

If Alvarez thought Kali were alive and could have survived if rescued, "hiding behind the privilege would be unconscionable," Brooks said. He noted that sometimes attackers can't tell if their victim is dead.

But defense attorneys said such a law would threaten a fundamental right of defendants to talk confidentially to their lawyers and would result in defendants never telling their lawyers the location of missing victims.

"It's insanity to me to react this way. It will have a much more negative impact than positive impact. No body would ever be recovered," said Chuck Samonsky, Alvarez's former lawyer. He took heaps of criticism for advising Alvarez to keep silent about the location of Kali's body for four or five days while Samonsky sought a deal to avoid the death penalty. Samonsky said he knew Kali was dead.

Samonsky said that if it's believed a suspect knows the location of a body, and that information casts suspicion on the suspect even though he or she didn't kill the victim, "Do you think any lawyer in his right mind would ask his client to divulge that information?"

Strickland responded, "That's when the debate will come."

[Remember his name: Assemblyman Tony Strickland.  After reading this article I am sure you would want to vote for him when the time comes.  Roy]

Suspect Not Charged Yet in Teen's Death 
By TRACY WILSON, Times Staff Writer
March 12, 1999
The prime suspect in the December slaying of 14-year-old Kali Manley of Oak View appeared in court briefly Thursday but has yet to be charged in the girl's homicide.
     Attorneys for David Alvarez, 22, of Ojai say they expect the attorney general's office to file murder charges in the case. Local authorities completed their investigation nearly a month ago.
     But Deputy Atty. Gen. Michael A. Katz said Thursday that state investigators are still reviewing the case. He declined to say when his office may file charges against Alvarez.
     "We hope to do it soon; it's a serious case," Katz said, standing outside the Ventura courtroom in which Alvarez appeared on two unrelated cases being handled by state prosecutors.
     Alvarez is charged with threatening a woman and brandishing a gun outside the convenience store in which he was last seen with Manley on Dec. 20, authorities said. That case was postponed to March 25.
     He also faces a misdemeanor battery charge for allegedly assaulting his 20-year-old wife, Brooke, last August. That case is set for trial April 12.
     A Nordhoff High School freshman, Manley disappeared after visiting a girlfriend's house the same night she was reportedly seen at the Miramonte convenience store with Alvarez and another man.
     A weeklong search for the girl ended when Alvarez led authorities to her body, hidden in a drainage pipe near Pine Mountain in the Ventura County back country. She had been strangled, and authorities say she may also have been the victim of an attempted rape.
     State prosecutors agreed Feb. 2 to take over the homicide investigation and Alvarez's other cases after Dist. Atty. Michael D. Bradbury raised concerns about "the appearance of impropriety" if his office handled the cases. Bradbury has been friends with the suspect's parents, Eugene and Marie Alvarez, for several years.
Copyright 1999 Los Angeles Times. All Rights Reserved
Suspect Charged With Girl's Murder 
By TINA DIRMANN, Times Staff Writer
Friday, March 26, 1999
Three months after he led authorities to the body of a missing Oak View teenager, David Ramiro Alvarez was charged Thursday with Kali Manley's murder.
     In a brief court appearance, Alvarez, 22, pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted rape, charges that make the Ojai man eligible for the death penalty.
     Authorities allege that Alvarez strangled Manley while trying to force the teen to have sex with him.
     "We believe the murder was committed while the defendant was engaged in an attempted rape," said Bill Maile, a spokesman for the state attorney general's office, which is prosecuting the case.
     Alvarez's attorney angrily denied that his client tried to rape the 14-year-old girl. "Not only was there no rape in this case," said James Farley, "there was not even an attempted rape. And not only should this not be a capital case, this should not even be a first-degree murder case."
     Deputy Atty. Gen. Michael Katz, the prosecutor, said he has not decided whether to seek the death penalty and refused to speculate when a decision might be made.
     Manley, a Nordhoff High School freshman, disappeared after visiting a friend's home on Dec. 20. She was last seen at a convenience store with Alvarez and another man, police said.
     A weeklong search for Manley came to a close when Alvarez led authorities to her body, hidden in a drainage pipe near Pine Mountain in the Ventura back country. An autopsy showed Manley had been strangled to death.
Alvarez was arrested the day after Manley's Alvarez was arrested the day after Manley's disappearance on a separate charge of assault with a deadly weapon and has remained in jail since. Authorities say that during the stop at the convenience store, Alvarez pointed a gun at a woman with whom he had a long-standing feud.
     Alvarez also faces a misdemeanor battery charge for allegedly assaulting his 20-year-old wife, Brooke, last August.
     Prosecutors did not say why it took several months to file the murder charge. Sheriff's Department spokesman Capt. Keith Parks, however, said investigators were in no hurry, because Alvarez was already in jail.
     "He was in custody; it was unlikely he would be getting out on bail," Parks said. "That gave us all the opportunity in the world to make sure we covered every aspect of this case before charges were filed."
     Action was also slowed because the Ventura County district attorney's office first had to relinquish control of the case. Citing a concern over the "appearance of impropriety" because of his friendship with the suspect's parents, Dist. Atty. Michael D. Bradbury turned the case over to the attorney general on Feb. 2.
     Charles Manley, Kali Manley's father, said in a telephone interview that the length of time it took to file a murder charge made the family "a little bit concerned."
     "But we just have every confidence the prosecutor is doing all the right things," Manley said. "We are happy that justice is proceeding."
     Attorney Jay Johnson, representing the Alvarez family, said Alvarez's parents would not comment on the murder charges.
     Alvarez is scheduled to appear before Superior Court Judge Edward Brodie on May 25 for a preliminary hearing.

Memorial Backed for Kali Manley
Wednesday, April 7, 1999 
Hoping to keep the memory of freshman Kali Manley alive, students at Nordhoff High School are launching a fund-raising drive to pay for construction of a campus memorial.
     An Oak View resident, Kali, 14, disappeared Dec. 20 after climbing into a truck with two men she barely knew during a sleepover at a friend's house, authorities said.
     David Alvarez, 22, of Ojai, led authorities to Kali's strangled body a week later in the mountains nearby. Alvarez has since been charged with murder and attempted rape.
     "We decided to do this right after it happened," freshman Anna Masters said of the memorial. "We knew we had to do something to remember her."
     The students want to build a covered trolley stop at the edge of campus, near the football stadium, that would feature a plaque with Kali's name on the inside.
     They are also considering having a picture of Kali painted on the underside of the wooden shelter, which would serve as a stop for a trolley that transports people through the city.
     Anna, a 14-year-old member of the Leo Club, the student group organizing the memorial, said organizers have come up with preliminary designs but are still seeking public suggestions.
     They are also looking for financial backing and plan to hold a meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Nordhoff High library to share their ideas and rally community support for the project.
     For more information, contact Leo Club advisor Rick Carreon at 640-0562.

Documents give more details on search for 
clues in girl's killing
MANLEY CASE: Affidavits, warrant returns show what led officials to David Alvarez.
By Bruce McLean
Staff writer
Published Tuesday June 22, 1999
On Dec. 23, the name of a 14-year-old blond-haired, blue-eyed girl was just beginning to become known outside a small circle of friends and family members in the Ojai Valley.
Sheriff's spokesmen told reporters and the public there was no evidence of foul play in Kali Manley's disappearance.

But as 100 people spread out to start searching for girl, a judge was signing a search warrant affidavit that claimed Manley "may have fallen victim to foul play" and detectives began a search of their own.
Search warrant affidavits and returns unsealed by a judge on Monday reveal why detectives on Dec. 23, three days after Manley's parents reported her missing, already suspected a crime had been committed, that David Alvarez had committed that crime, and what they found to support their suspicions.

Alvarez is being held in Ventura County Jail while he awaits trial in Manley's killing. He has been charged with murder during the course of an attempted rape, which could make him eligible for the death penalty. The state Attorney General's Office is prosecuting the case because District Attorney Michael Bradbury knows the suspect's family.
The documents were unsealed Monday after attorneys for the Star filed papers seeking access to what the paper considered public information.

Search warrant returns reveal that investigators found a pink shirt matching the description of a shirt Manley was last seen wearing, hairs in the back of Alvarez' pickup truck, numerous guns and ammunition and an earring. 
While the returns list the items seized, they do not reveal if there is any connection between the items and Manley or the crime.

In a search warrant affidavit, Detective William Gentry laid out the reasons investigators wanted to search Alvarez' home, his truck, and a mobile home in which Manley was last seen alive.
On Dec. 19, Manley was at a friend's home when Alvarez and Robert Miears showed up.
Manley's friend told them to leave and told Manley not to go with them. But Manley went outside with the pair and when the friend checked later, Manley was gone.

On Dec. 22, Miears told investigators that he, Alvarez and Manley had gone to the Circle K in Mira Monte early on the morning of Dec. 20 and bought wine coolers. 
While there, Alvarez saw a woman he'd had an ongoing feud with and at one point, pointed a gun at her and threatened to kill her.
The trio then went to the mobile home on Fulton Street. Alvarez' mother was attempting to buy the mobile home and a real estate agent had handed over a key to the family.

While there, Alvarez took Manley to a bedroom and later came out and told Miears he was going to have sex with Manley and asked him for some cigarettes.
Miears went to sleep and woke up the next morning to find Alvarez and Manley gone.
Alvarez later picked up Miears and drove him home, calling him hours later to tell him he dropped Manley off at the Circle K.

Miears told police Alvarez had used cocaine before picking up Manley, but didn't know if he used any later.
Investigators also talked to a woman who said that, while talking to a friend, the friend revealed that her brother had been visited by Alvarez, who was wearing bloodied clothing and asking for help burying a body.
When investigators questioned the man, he confirmed that Alvarez had visited him and that he had blood drops on his clothing, but denied he mentioned anything about burying a dead body.

With that information, investigators received search warrants, which were executed on Dec. 23 and 24.
Inside the trailer on Fulton, investigators found a pink woman's top stuffed in a trash bag, a single live .32-caliber bullet sitting on a kitchen counter, prescription pills in Alvarez' name and other evidence linking Alvarez to the location.

From Alvarez' truck, investigators took soil samples from the tires, a piece of tar with strands of hair found stuck to the bed of the truck, carpet and seat material samples and other debris.
From Alvarez' home on Longhorn Lane in Ojai, police found a silver loop earring on the garage floor and several guns and ammunition.
On Dec. 26, Alvarez led authorities to Manley's body, which was hidden in a drainage pipe off Highway 33. An autopsy later revealed she'd been strangled.

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