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Valley man murdered in California

Posted: Friday, Sep 28th, 2012

Adrian Lee Rael

Courier editor

ALAMOSA — As Alamosa resident Carmela Marines prepares to bury her son, a California woman will appear in court today for his murder.

Donna Huebsch, 58, has been charged with murder in the shooting death of Adrian Lee Rael, 39, a former San Luis Valley resident who had lived in California for the past six years. Huebsch is scheduled for a plea hearing this morning in Trinity County, where the homicide allegedly occurred.

Rael was last seen on August 15, the date he was presumably killed. On that Wednesday an informant alerted California authorities to the possibility of Rael’s murder. The informant told sheriff’s deputies Huebsch admitted to shooting and killing a man named Adrian and wanted the informant’s help in moving the body.

However, an initial search of Huebsch’s residence and yard in Burnt Ranch, Calif., yielded no body or evidence of a shooting.

When sheriff’s deputies returned six days later with a warrant, they located Rael’s body in a wooded area on the Huebsch property. Huebsch was arrested on murder charges and remains in custody.

Rael’s family was not able to bring him home to the San Luis Valley for about a month afterwards, when authorities were finished with their investigations.

Rael was born and raised in the Valley and had worked at Murray’s Carpet where he learned a trade he continued in California. He also worked at mechanic jobs and loved working on cars. He lived in a small mountain community in California called Willow Creek and had made many friends there. Two memorial services were held for the popular resident after his death.

“He’s a very good person,” his mother Carmela said, “very well loved in California.”

She said she has no idea why anyone would want to kill her son, and Huebsch is not talking. Carmela said she understood the two knew each other and were friends, and she had even sent packages to her son at Huebsch’s post office box, but she said her son and Huebsch were not romantically connected.

She did not know why Adrian was at Huebsch’s property on the day he was shot.

“It’s a mother’s worst nightmare,” she said. “You never think something like this could happen. It’s hard to understand, and I know we won’t ever understand why.”

Rael’s family will hold a Rosary tonight for him and a funeral service tomorrow morning at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. He will then be buried in the Alamosa Cemetery. He was cremated before being brought back to the Valley.

In addition to his mother, he leaves a daughter and grandson, a brother and sister.

“My son was a very kind and loving person,” Carmela said. “He didn’t deserve to die the way he died.”

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