NewsCovering Kern County


Deadly dispute, house fire in Santa Maria connected to Kern County

Records: Suspect, family may have lived in Bakersfield in the past
Posted at 9:44 AM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-26 21:30:14-04

A reported neighborhood dispute in Santa Maria that ended with five people dead appears to have connections to Kern County.

Investigators this week announced that Claude "Bodie" Adams, Sherry Adams and Seth Adams were identified as bodies recovered from a Santa Maria home that was set on fire last week after a related deadly shooting.

Records obtained by 23ABC News show all three Adamses lived in Bakersfield and different parts of Kern County in the past, possibly as recently as 2011.

Santa Maria Police say DNA testing is still needed to confirm the identities.

Investigators believe Claude Adams, 64, is responsible for the three deaths, in addition to two other people who were shot and killed before the fire on Taylor Street in the Casa Grande Senior Mobile Estates.

Police say Claude Adams had been involved in an ongoing dispute with Kurt Bracke, 70, and Richard Hanen, 78, when he reportedly shot them at the neighborhood clubhouse. Police say he then returned home and set the fire.

As a result of the dispute, Adams was reportedly being evicted from the mobile home park.

It’s unclear if Sherry Adams, the suspect’s wife, and Seth Adams, the suspect’s son, died from the fire or if they’d been killed before the fire started.

The interim property manager said Sunday that 43 residents were still without gas after the utility had to be shut off as firefighters battled the blaze.