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UPDATE Suspicious Death San Geronimo Valley

UPDATE to San Geronimo Suspicious Death Investigation

Update regarding the Suspicious Death in San Geronimo Valley from June 2, 2023

At the conclusion of the autopsy, it was determined, based on all available evidence, the injuries sustained were caused by a blunt force strike. Sheriff’s Investigations Division now investigating the possibility the subject was kicked by horse. 

***This incident still being investigated, and a complete Coroner’s Report is pending***


On June 2, at approximately 1851 hours, a call came into our Communications Center regarding a male subject in his 80’s suffering from a head wound and fall in the area of Wild Iris Rd and Sir Francis Drake Blvd    

As medical personnel arrived on scene, it was determined the subjects head injury was substantial and he was transported to a local area hospital for treatment, where he later succumbed to his injuries. The decedent, Richard Helzberg, age 82, resided in the San Geronimo Valley.    

Initially medical staff at Marin Health Medical Center reported that Helzberg appeared to have a ballistic wound to the head.This information was considered as a cause of injury during the initial investigation, but after reviewing evidence on scene, coupled with the injury itself, this mechanism of injury did not appear to be valid.

On Monday, June 5th, an autopsy was performed to determine the cause and manner of death. After the autopsy it was determined that the cause of death was severe, acute craniocerebral trauma. No evidence of this injury being caused by a firearm was found. This blunt-force trauma was potentially caused by a kick from a horse, which was on scene along the fire road where Helzberg had been hiking. No other significant injuries were noted during the completed examination. 

The Marin County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division will continue to work with our Coroner’s Division to ensure that a complete and thorough investigation is completed. The official Coroner’s Report is still pending.

  The Marin County Sheriff’s Office continues to believe there is no risk to the public. We are however requesting anyone with information relevant to the investigation contact our Investigations Division through our non-emergency dispatch line at (415)479-2311   


Press Release drafted by Sgt Adam Schermerhorn