Police said the bodies of a California couple and their dog were discovered hidden under the heavy brush of a creek bed where a driver had crashed the day before.
Matthew Chachere and Jennifer Besser had been walking their pet, Buddy, Nov. 21 when they were struck by an excessively speeding 24-year-old driver in San Luis Obispo, the city’s police said.
The unidentified male driver was said to have hit the curb, a street sign, and the bridge abutment on Sacramento Drive.
After responding to a call for a single-car collision, San Luis Obispo police released the driver after not noticing the bodies and determining that he was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Police have not said whether the driver hid the bodies himself.
The next day, the SLOPD received a report of a dead dog in the creek bed near Sacramento Drive, where the crash occurred. Police attempted unsuccessfully to contact the dog’s owners before making arrangements for the poor pet to be taken to Animal Control.
Later that night, Chachere and Besser’s family filed a missing persons report for the couple after they failed to appear at a holiday gathering in Modesto, according to police. Family members submitted photos of the couple and Buddy, which one SLOPD dispatcher recognized as the deceased animal reported earlier that day.
Police returned to the crash site, but this time searched through the heavily wooded creek bed, where they discovered the bodies of Chachere and Besser “under heavy brush.”
Both Chachere, 39, and Besser, 36, worked for E&J Gallo Winery in Modesto, the Tribune reported. Chachere, who was a linebacker for California Polytechnic State University from 2001 to 2005, had coached at Davis and Ceres high schools in Stanislaus County.
According to KSBY, a memorial has been erected at the location where police believe the couple was murdered, complete with flowers, candles, photos, and a stuffed animal that reads, “Jennifer, Matt, Buddy, we love and miss you.”
Tuesday, members of Chachere and Besser’s families visited the memorial.
“They were a very supportive family. They were there, his mom and dad, were there for all the games. I can still remember the dad’s face and smile and joy watching his son, great man, you can’t help but feel pain for them,” Chachere’s former Cal Poly Coach Payam Saddat said.
Police are still investigating the crash and have interviewed the 24-year-old driver. The driver could face criminal charges pending the findings.