Detectives Arrest Third Suspect for 2018 Murder
Nipomo, Calif. – Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a third suspect for the 2018 murder of Joseph Martin Govey. At 4:48 p.m. today, detectives arrested 33-year-old Benjamin Mersai of Grover Beach. Mersai was arrested as he was recreating at the same golf course where the decedent’s remains were located, in the 1400-block of Golf Course Lane in Nipomo. Mersai will be booked at the Main Jail for murder (felony), conspiracy (felony) and accessory to murder (felony) and will be held without bail.
Suspects previously arrested for this case include 35-year-old Kimberly Machleit and 37-year-old Donald Anderson, both from Santa Maria. Both suspects remain in custody and the court has ordered that Machleit be held without bail.
Santa Maria, Calif. – Early this morning, Sheriff’s detectives arrested two suspects for their involvement in the murder and disposal of a victim that occurred in December, 2018. As part of an ongoing investigation into a missing person case, detectives were assisted by the Sheriff’s Office Dive Team at a golf course in the 1400-block of Golf Course Lane in Nipomo yesterday. As a result of the search, the suspected missing person’s remains were recovered from a lake on the property. The identification of the decedent is pending verification by the Coroner’s Bureau and will be released once it has been confirmed.
Shortly past midnight this morning, detectives served a search and arrest warrant in the 2200-block of Professional Parkway in the city of Santa Maria where they arrested 35-year-old Kimberly Machleit and 37-year-old Donald Anderson, both from Santa Maria. Machleit was booked at the Main Jail for murder with special circumstances (felony) and conspiracy (felony). She is being held on $2,000,000 bail. Anderson was booked at the Main Jail for accessory to murder (felony) and is being held on $1,000,000 bail.
This investigation is ongoing, but it appears that the victim was murdered in the city of Santa Maria and dismembered before being disposed of at the golf course in December, 2018. The suspects and the victim knew each other and this was not a random act. Anyone with information about this crime is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office tip line at (805)681-4171 or by visiting our website- sbsheriff.org.