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CHP requests help in homicide near Highway 33

web Kelsey Ann Dillon

Photo courtesy the Dillon family

Kelsey Ann Dillon in undated photo

 

Grant Phillips, Ojai Valley News reporter 

California Highway Patrol is requesting the public’s help as it investigates the homicide of a 30-year-old woman, found the morning of Sept. 24 unresponsive near Highway 33 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 June 29.

Dillon said in the video that she had been “brutally raped” three nights prior, stating she had been thrown over a freeway off-ramp into a ditch.

Dillon was living out of her car for two years before it was totaled, resulting in a six 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 country 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 on-ramp 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 through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. with after hours or weekend calls directed to 805-477-4174.

Dillon is one of an estimated 1,743 total homeless people 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 more than 72 people 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 west Ventura County can be found here: https://bit.ly/3F647n6. 

By dialing 211, people can be connected to information about critical health and human services. They can be directly connected to emergency shelter options, homeless safe parking programs, and laundry and bathing facilities, among other resources.

 

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