SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UPDATE 4:30 PM FRIDAY
An Oceanside man was arrested early Friday morning and accused in the killings of a popular Santa Barbara doctor, his wife and their five-year-old daughter.
Pierre Haobsh, 27, was arrested in the town of Bonsall, east of Oceanside in San Diego County early Friday morning - 32 hours after the discovery of the victims, according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown. Haobsh was carrying a loaded 9-millimeter gun at the time of arrest, and had other items believed to have belonged to one of the victims. Haobsh was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on three counts of murder.
Late Wednesday afternoon, Dr. Weidong "Henry" Han, his wife Huijie "Jennie" Yu, and their 5-year-old daughter, Emily were found in their upscale Goleta Valley home dead from gunshot wounds.
"The bodies were all wrapped in plastic wrap. They had been duct-taped over the plastic wrap and they were all in the garage of the residence," Brown said.
"This was a diabolical, premeditated crime. One of the most odious that I have ever been involved with, or that this agency has ever or that this agency has ever investigated," Brown said.
Haobsh was described as a "business associate" of Dr. Henry Han. The motive for the killing was described as financial gain.
The sheriff described Dr. Hahn as popular with his patients.
"This tragic case is a terrible blow to the Santa Barbara area and to the medical community at large. Dr. Hahn had an impressive background in both Chinese herbal medicine and in Western medicine. He co-authored several books on the integration of these two medical techniques and he owned and ran the Santa Barbara County Herb Clinic since 1991," Brown said.
UPDATE 12:30 PM FRIDAY
At 3:00 Friday, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown will provide an update with the latest developments on the triple murder case in the Goleta Valley. That briefing will be live streamed here on the website. The link will be on the home page.
UPDATE 11:30 PM THURSDAY
Late Thursday night, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office released the names of the three victims of a homicide in the Goleta Valley. The victims are 57-year-old Dr. Weidong Henry Han, his wife 29-year old Huijie Yu, who was known as Jennie, and their five-year-old daughter Emily Han, a kindergartner at Foothill Elementary School.
The bodies were found inside the family home on the 4600 block of Greenhill Way.
Sheriff's detectives are actively investigating this case to determine who is responsible for this horrific crime. Detectives are following up on all leads and while they are not ruling out any possibilities, early indications are that this was not a random attack.
The Sheriff's Department is expected to provide another update Friday at noon.
UPDATE 5:30 PM
Forensics workers from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's office and the state Justice Department continue to process the scene of three homicides, described as "horrific" by law enforcement. It happened in an upscale home less than a mile from the Sheriff's Department headquarters in the hills above the Goleta Valley.
The three victims have been identified, but law enforcement has not yet released the names. A news release from the Sheriff's Department said detectives believe this "was not a random attack."
Records indicate the home is owned by Dr. Henry Han. A family friend who arrived on the scene told a reporter Dr. Han, his wife Jenny and their 5-year-old daughter Emily were not answering phone calls or texts. Isaiah Oregon described how he was involved in the daily life of Emily. "I pick her up from school and do our regular thing," he said, visibly upset as he stood outside the crime tape blocking access to the scene of the killings at 4640 Greenhill Way.
Dr. Han's office, the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic at 3886 State Street, was closed with a handmade sign posted in the window. People inside did not not come to the door to speak.
UPDATE 4:55 PM
The three victims in a horrific triple murder have been identified by law enforcement, but the names have not yet been released.
A news update from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's office stated the investigation appears to show this "was not a random attack."
The department is asking for anyone who might have information to call an anonymous tip line at 805-681-4171.
A quiet neighborhood between Santa Barbara and Goleta belies a horrific crime. A home in the 4600 block of Greenhill Way was the scene of a triple murder now being investigated by the Santa Barbara County Sheriffs Department.
The victims have been removed from the scene and forensics work is underway to develop leads for investigators.
While the crime happened inside a house, other residences on the street are a collection of condominiums and townhouses, north of the Santa Barbara County office buildings along Calle Real, east of Turnpike.
Deputies first responded to what is called a "welfare check" at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday. At the time it was apparent to deputies of the need to investigate a suspicious death. It took time for a warrant to be granted, which allowed detectives into the home to discover the full extent of the brutal crime.
A forensics team from the Department of Justice is assisting the sheriff's department in the investigation. Crime tape has been set up several yards from the scene of the crime, so independent observation of the residence is not yet possible.
Names, genders and ages of the victims have not been released. Investigation activity continued at the scene through Thursday afternoon.
A triple homicide investigation has begun in the unincorporated area of Santa Barbara County near Turnpike and Calle Real.
The sheriff's department sent the following news release:
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office is investigating a triple homicide case. Last night, March 23, 2016, at approximately 5:30 p.m., Sheriff's deputies responded to a check the welfare call at a residence located in the 4600 block of Greenhill Way. When deputies entered the home, they determined a suspicious death investigation was warranted.
Early this morning, March 24, 2016, the Sheriff's Office obtained a search warrant authorizing detectives to enter the residence. Once inside, Coroner's investigators recovered the remains of three individuals from the residence.
The Sheriff's Forensics Unit with the assistance of a Department of Justice Forensics Unit is processing the crime scene and gathering evidence.
The Sheriff's Coroner's Office is in the process of positively identifying the victims and notifying next of kin. Until that process is complete, no identifying information regarding the victims will be released. A postmortem examination will be conducted on each of the victims to determine cause and manner of death.
The Sheriff's Department plans a briefing later this afternoon.
Updates will be posted as information becomes available.