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CHP requests help in homicide near Highway 33

CHP patch

Grant Phillips, Ojai Valley News reporter

CHP is requesting public help surrounding the homicide of a 30-year-old female, found the morning of Sept. 24 unresponsive near the 33 Freeway at Olive Street in West Ventura. 

Initially referring to it as a suspicious death, CHP called it a homicide on Monday, Sept. 27. 

CHP identified the victim as 30-year-old Kelsey Ann Dillon, a houseless woman residing in the Ventura area. 

Kelsey was raised in Thousand Oaks and had recently created a GoFundMe campaign, sharing her story in an attempt to raise money to secure shelter. 

I would like to be off the streets and anywhere safe,” she said in a video shared in June of 2021.

Dillon claimed to have been brutally raped three nights prior, stating she had been thrown over a freeway offramp into a ditch.

Dillon was living out of her car for 2 years before it was totaled, resulting in a sixth-month period without shelter.

Before losing her housing, Dillon said she worked as a massage therapist for 10 years until health issues led to 34 surgeries.

Her GoFundMe was an attempt to secure funding for an RV van.

“I want to tour the county and see everything,” said Dillon in her post. 

Her body was found at 9:45 a.m. on Sept. 24, one day before her 31st birthday, in a densely-vegetated area along Highway 33’s northbound onramp from Olive Street marked by vegetation, a trail, and a homeless encampment.

The victim’s body was reported by a passerby. 

The CHP is asking anyone with any information on who killed Dillon to call the CHP office in Ventura at: 805-662-2640 Monday-Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. with after hours or weekend calls directed to: 805-477-4174. 

Dillon is one of 1,743 total homeless individuals residing in Ventura County, reported by the 2020 Homeless County and Subpopulation Survey.

The number of shelterless individuals throughout the County has increased each year, by 12.8% in 2018 and 28.5% in 2019. 

Ventura County reported over 72 individuals died while homeless throughout 2020.

This is despite an estimated $10 million in State and Federal funding for homeless assistance and housing programs for the County of Ventura.

There are a variety of resources for unhoused individuals throughout the County. 

The County of Ventura Human Services Agency operates the Homeless Services Program which provides a network of agencies offering health care, mental health services, drug and alcohol abuse treatment, temporary housing, and other benefits. A list of their services can be found here: https://bit.ly/3F8weSo or by calling: 805-385-1800.

A brochure with a comprehensive list of additional services throughout Western Ventura County can be found here: https://bit.ly/3F647n6

211 Ventura County also provides a free service that connects community members to information about critical health and human services. By dialing 2-1-1, they can provide a series of Emergency Shelter options, homeless safe parking programs, and laundry and bathing facilities among other resources. 

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