The mysterious circumstances surrounding the disappearance of William (Will) John Cierzan, 58, raise more questions than there are answers. Anyone with information on Will’s whereabouts are asked to please call detectives at 323-890-5500, or leave a tip through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. A $20,000 reward has been offered.
Will is reported as missing under suspicious circumstances from his home on 26810 Cuatro Milpas Street in Valencia/Santa Clarita, California on January 26, 2017 by his wife Linda. Will is 5’8″ 140 lbs, and has brown eyes and brown hair. The clothes he was last seen in have not been disclosed.
• BREAKING INFORMATION is detailed in the May 11 blog posting.
• Daniel Jacob Cierzan is named the Person of Interest in the homicide of Will. Charles (Chuck) David Cierzan, his father, has been implicated for covering up the crime.
• The reward has been raised to $20,000 for information leading to locating Will and the apprehension of whoever is responsible for Will’s disappearance.
Will is described by his sister Andrea Peck as a happy homebody. He loves watching golf and spending time with his dog. He works part time in the gift shop at Six Flags Magic Mountain, and the day he disappeared was his day off. He is described as having a photographic memory.
Will’s home is a one-story house built in the 1970’s. It is the second home on the right from the corner of Festividad Dr. The wall off the backyard is stone at the bottom, with wooden slats that extend its height. That wall abuts to a small, empty commercial lot that was previously a gas station, and is currently surrounded by chain-linked fencing that has a broken gate on the Festividad side. That lot is cornered by Festividad and Bouquet Canyon Rd., which is a busy 4-lane road. At the left side of the Cierzan house by the garage, there is a narrow walkway that leads to the backyard, the view of it blocked by a tree at the front of the house.
Coincidentally, there had been a garage fire at a nearby home just days before Will disappeared. There had also been a 2.7 earthquake at 6:08 p.m. in Valencia that same day Will disappeared, which caused a loud boom to be heard in the area of Will’s house. Neither has anything to do with Will’s disappearance. The temperatures that night ranged from the low 60’s F to low 50’s F.
Will’s brother Charles (Chuck) David Cierzan and family (consisting of his new wife Virginia and his son Daniel Jacob Cierzan) live in a condominium at 20750 Plum Canyon Rd., a nearby subdivision. Daniel’s mother, Dawn Cierzan Wheeler, lives in Oregon. Daniel’s sister Kayla is thought to be in college in Virgina. The dynamics of all of their relationships to Will have not been disclosed, but none of the Chuck Cierzan family has spoken to the rest of the Cierzan family or publicly since Will’s disappearance.
Daniel was born on February 21, 1996. Aligned with the violent Juggalo gang partial to knives, he had recently been fired from Six Flags Magic Mountain after revealing his short temper and getting into a fight with another Six Flags employee. His arrest history includes a June 5, 2014 booking in LA County for felony possession of a controlled substance. He was arrested again on August 21, 2014 for being under the influence of a controlled substance.
WHAT WE KNOW, WHAT WE DON’T KNOW:
Throughout the course of that day, Will’s nephew Daniel claimed he spent time with his uncle Will watching golf on TV. First round coverage of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament with Tiger Woods aired that day on the Golf Channel, starting at 11:00 a.m. PST. During the day Will had telephone conversations with his wife of 28 years, and he even cooked chicken for dinner. Will had left his wallet (with credit cards and money inside), keys, cell phone, jacket, and family dogs inside the house. Every inch of the house was thoroughly searched by law enforcement that evening and the following days, and it was stated that nothing incriminating was captured on the home’s surveillance video. His truck was still parked out on the curb in front of their house.
Any lingering temperature in the oven was not indicated. Also, it was not disclosed whether the lights in and outside of the home were on or if it was dark when Linda arrived home. It has not been disclosed if the house was locked up or if the doors were unlocked when Linda arrived home. We also do not know if the television was still on.
Daniel placed himself in the home that day, with his exact time of departure stated as 1:30 pm. However, rumors from the neighbor placed Daniel’s SUV at the residence all day. Chuck also stated Danny arrived home at 4:00 pm. Will’s sister Andrea Peck spoke out on behalf of their nephew, stating Daniel said Will’s demeanor was normal while he was there, that “everything looked fine, everything was fine.” Peck, said “I asked that question. You know, did he have a headache? Was he not feeling good? Was he acting like, did you guys get into any kind of argument. We went through all that. And it was kind of like, no, nothing.”
The surveillance camera of a neighbor across the street, the Abeywardena’s, recorded all movement at the front of the Cierzan house. According to this media report, police looked at the security footage shot from across the street, and neither Will nor anyone else is captured entering or leaving the house after the beer run. The original media article states “The video shows he never left the house. No friends drove up. No one came to the door.” It is unclear which door is being referenced. It could mean the front door, the side door next to the garage, or even the garage door itself. It is also unclear if the wording purposefully excludes references to the nephew, whom is not a friend, but family.
The claim that no one came or left is arguable because the video circulating shows the raised white SUV with wide tires remarkably similar to the one owned by Daniel quickly backing into Will’s driveway at 17:06:38 (5:06 p.m.), and departing the driveway hastily at 17:12:03 (5:12 p.m.) back in the direction it came in, heading towards Festividad. Law enforcement officials have stated the truck in fact does belong to a family member, but they did not specify who. It’s unclear if the driver of the SUV was Daniel, claiming they have not yet identified the “mystery driver“. Close scrutiny of the video reveals a thin Caucasian driver with light hair, (wearing a red shirt?). No other persons are detected inside the SUV’s cab. Unfortunately, the video has been edited to only show the SUV coming and leaving, and not the span of time in between that might reveal the driver or any activity involving the vehicle, driver, or Will.
This reporter states the SUV “was seen backing in to the Cierzan’s garage“.
According to reports, police found blood stains on the TV and around the kitchen. They finally disclosed that the blood belongs to Will, but did not reveal “how it got where it was.” Detectives have only stated “no comment” when asked about the blood stains and video enhancements. When asked if he suspected foul play, lead detective Hernandez responded that the possibility of foul play certainly exists. “We are in the midst of enhancing the video” he said, adding detectives are also reviewing images captured on other cameras in the area.
New reports indicate they are awaiting the results of some crime lab examinations. It’s assumed Daniel’s SUV was impounded and is being examined. If so, and if more than blood is being examined, could bondage or wrap materials have been used? What is being compared to items or evidence found in the SUV?
During a press conference, reporters asked if Daniel was cooperating. Response from law enforcement was evasive, simply replying that “We’re not going to name the relative, there was a family member at home with Will during the day. He has actually been spoken to and has provided a statement to us.” While the detective is stating this, Linda Cierzan can be seen in the background shaking her head “no“. Linda was later questioned about whether Will and Daniel got along or not, and she responded that she “I thought so. I mean yeah he’s been over quite a few times. I didn’t even know he was over that day. He hadn’t mentioned him at all.”
When a reporter asks if the undisclosed ‘family member’ says Will was still at the house when the ‘family member’ left, the detective makes a long pause before saying “Yes.” The reporter then asks how much before was that before Linda came home, and the detective becomes evasive saying they will not be getting into the specific time frames. The detective also says “We don’t know what their interaction was for the course of the day” in reference to Will and the visiting ‘family member’.
A reporter asks about the ‘family member’ whose car was there, “What was that person doing when he returned at 5 o’clock?” The detective responds that “Again we are not going to get into his statement to us. But he did provide us with a statement.” Then the reporter asks if he is cooperating. This is when Linda can be seen vigorously shaking her head no while the detective simple replies, “He has provided a statement.” Per media articles and not verified by law enforcement, Daniel has given a statement to authorities but is not considered a suspect.
Will’s wife Linda stated that she called him around 4 p.m., after Daniel had supposedly left the home. It was then that Will informed Linda he was putting dinner on “because he likes to cook now, and that he had a really good day watching golf.” Linda stated that during that phone call Will was in good spirits. UNVERIFIED Media reports say he then called her at 5:00 p.m. to let her know the chicken was cooked, saying “He just asked me if I was going to work a little later, and I said yeah I’d be a little late. And then he just told me what he was making for dinner, and he was in a good mood ’cause he watched golf during the day, and he’d been outside and it was a nice day. And he said don’t hurry, you know, I’ll be here. So I said ok. And then I called him at 6:00 and he didn’t answer.” When she arrived home at 7:00 p.m., Linda found the chicken cooked, the oven turned off, the table set, but Will was not at home. She claimed nothing was out of place and everything looked normal.
Law enforcement officials had been to the house daily for the entire week following Will’s disappearance looking for clues. During the course of their investigation, the blood stains were found. The LASD Homicide Bureau are now investigating Will’s disappearance saying “We are in the process of analyzing that (the blood) and trying to come up with a scenario of how it got there” Sheriff’s Detective Ralph Hernandez told reporters during a press conference.
Detectives hoped to learn more once the blood was tested and the home video surveillance footage obtained from a neighbor was enhanced. Since that time, law enforcement officials have evaded media coverage and provided few comments on their findings. Could there be more videos that reveal the path of the SUV once it left at 5:12 p.m.?
• 01/26/17 – 1:30 PM – Danny says he leaves the house.
• 01/26/17 – 4:00 PM – Chuck says Danny arrived home.
• 01/26/17 – 4:00-4:30 PM – Linda calls Will.
• 01/26/17 – 5:06 PM – SUV backs into driveway.
• 01/26/17 – 5:12 PM – SUV leaves the driveway.
• 01/26/17 – 6:00 PM – Linda calls but Will does not answer.
• 01/26/17 – 7:00 PM – Linda arrives home, Will is missing.
• 01/26/17 – 7:00-7:30 PM – Linda calls Danny.
• 01/26/17 – Linda reports Will missing.
• 01/27/17 – Linda views video, then calls police.
• 01/27/17 – Police search Cierzan house and find blood stains.
• 02/01/17 – Law Enforcement holds a press conference.
• 04/04/17 – A $10,000 reward is offered.
• 05/11/17 – The reward is raised to $20,000.
• 05/11/17 – In a Crime Daily Watch expose, police name Danny as POI.
Unofficial searches have been taking place since Will disappeared, as uncovered through various media articles and online forums. Searches that have taken place near the Chuck Cierzan home have caught the attention of unsavory characters who seemed threatening or dangerous to volunteer searchers.
The first official and formal search finally took place on 2/25/17 by the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Search & Rescue team 3 weeks after Will’s disappearance, and only after heavy rains and local flooding of the Santa Clarita River. Peck indicated concern about the timing of the search and its starting location. The search was organized Kari Hewitt of SCV Emergency Now “because there’s been no change, no breaks, and we take care of each other.” At 8:00 a.m., participants met in the parking lot of the Albertson’s store on Copper Hill Road just west of McBean Parkway.
Searches have been ongoing with volunteers from SCV Emergency Now along with the Angeles Off-Road Search and Recovery Team. On March 25, volunteers from Search Dogs 24/7 joined the search party and checked various spots along San Francisquito Canyon Road and other nearby areas.
PREVIOUSLY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS:
• What clothing and shoes was Will wearing the day he disappeared? Are any clothes are missing from his closet? Where is his jacket and watch? What does his wedding ring look like?
• Did Daniel visit often without Linda’s knowledge?
• Did Daniel Cierzan actually leave Will’s home at 4:00 PM?
• Who saw Daniel, who spoke to him, who was with him, where did he go, what did he do in the next 24 hours after Will’s 4:00 pm call with Linda?
• Why did Will say to Linda in the 4:00 p.m. phone call “don’t hurry, you know, I’ll be here” ?
• Did Daniel change his clothing more than once the day Will disappeared?
• Where was the blood found? Outside of the house, or in the SUV? How much?
• In what form was the blood: drops leading in a trail, smears from someone cleaning up, pools, splatters in nooks and crannies? How high and low was the blood located?
• Why did Will cook dinner so early if he knew his wife would be home so late?
• Who turned off the oven? What time?
• Is the SUV seen in the video a Toyota Forerunner? What year? 1980’s model?
• Was the SUV seen around Santa Clarita that day and night?
• Did Will possibly walk out and enter the SUV willingly, unwillingly, or was he carried out?
• Have cadaver dogs inspected Will’s house and Daniel’s SUV?
• Linda indicated that she did not know Daniel had been over to the house that day, and that Will had not mentioned it. So then how did she know her 4:00 p.m. call was after Daniel left?
• Could Will’s chipper demeanor actually have been him trying to cover up a “situation” in the home so that Linda did not become alarmed while they spoke on the phone at 4:00 p.m.?
• Daniel worked at Six Flags for a short time before being fired. Could Will have learned something damming about Daniel from other coworkers, and confronted his nephew.