Remains of man missing for two years found near Santa Margarita

Jared Jay Walters

Sheriff deputies found the remains of a 38-year-old missing man in rural Santa Margarita after receiving a tip that his body was 4100 block of Stagecoach Canyon Road.

Jared Jay Walters, 38, was reported missing to the Atascadero Police Department on Feb. 26, 2016. The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office now says Walters was murdered, and authorities have launched a homicide investigation.

Since Walters was first reported missing, rumors that he had been murdered in a biker dispute and that his body had been stashed in Santa Margarita spread throughout the rural community.

In 2016, sheriff’s detectives twice searched a home in the 2200 block of I Street in Santa Margarita looking for evidence relating to Walters’ disappearance. More recently, detectives received information that Walters’ remains were located in the 4100 block of Stagecoach Canyon Road in rural Santa Margarita.

On March 6, the Sheriff’s Office Special Enforcement Detail served a search warrant at the rural Santa Margarita location with help from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office Special Enforcement Team. The search of the property spanned two days and also involved the SLO County District Attorney’s Office, FBI Evidence Response Team, CHP Air Operations, San Luis Obispo Auto Theft Task Force and the Morro Bay Police Department.

During the search, investigators recovered human remains. The Department of Justice then used DNA testing to confirm the remains were those of Walters.

On his Facebook page, Walters says he is from Paso Robles. Detectives list him as a transient. Waters has not posted on his Facebook page since Oct. 21, 2015.

Officials have not released any information about potential suspects. Investigators request that anyone has information related to the murder of Walters contact the Sheriff’s Office Detective Division at (805) 781-4500 or anonymously call Crime Stoppers at 549-STOP.