San Jose homicide detectives found the body of Kyle Myrick Thursday, a 28-year-old motorcycle shop employee who went missing exactly a week ago.
Myrick was last seen at GP Sports, the Cambrian-area motorcycle shop where he worked, on Jan. 22, according to the San Jose Police Department. HisÂ coworker, 39-year-old Steve Douglas Hlebo, was arrested the next day on suspicion of murder.
The discovery wrapped upÂ a week of organized dawn-to-dusk searches led by Myrickâs family and friends. Volunteers, who drummed up support using the hashtag #FindKyleMyrick, set up a fundraising drive to help his family offset the cost of the search.
Hours after police found the body, mourners met under a light rainfall at GP SportsÂ forÂ a candlelight vigil. A group of bikers revved their engines in honor of Myrick,Â a motorcycle enthusiast and gearhead who only recentlyÂ began working at the shop.
âThe police found our son today,âÂ MyrickâsÂ stepdad John Sparry wrote on Facebook Thursday. âWe are extremely sad, but knowing he is no longer lost is a great comfort. Kyle is in a good place now.â
Police say Hlebo and Myrick got into a fight while working on an ATV together at GP Sports. Even before Myrickâs body was found, investigators say evidence at the crime sceneâa severed ear and pools of bloodâled them to suspect murder.
On Wednesday, Hlebo appeared in court for a brief arraignment. In a series ofÂ bizarre interviews from jail, HleboÂ professed his innocence.
âI have nothing against the guy,âÂ Hlebo told the Mercury NewsÂ earlier this week.Â âI have no idea why I'm here. They just stuck me in theÂ damn cell.â
He reportedly accused Myrick of being part of some conspiracy involving the high-profile kidnapping and killing of Morgan Hill teen Sierra LaMar.
âI was framed,âÂ Hlebo said in a separate 45-minute conversation with NBC Bay Area.Â âI am innocent. It's something out of a science fiction novel, really.â
According to a statement penned by San Jose Sgt. Paul Hamblin and Detective Jason Tanner, however, Hlebo killed Myrick after a scuffle, dragged his body into a truck and dumped it in the mountains south of San Jose.
On Jan. 22, per the police report, the manager of GP SportsÂ told Hlebo and Myrick to work on some ATVs out back. When the supervisorÂ later went to check on them, he found the gate locked.Â Myrick was nowhere in sight and Hlebo reportedly said he didnât know where he went.
Hours later,Â the manager began to worry. When heÂ checked again, police say, he saw the suspectâs white 2002 GMC Sierra pickup backed against a nearby fire-damaged building. Hlebo reportedly gave aÂ nonsensical excuse for his truck being there and objected to searching for Myrick in thereÂ because it might be haunted by ghosts.
Once the shop closed that evening, the bossÂ and other employees searched the fire-gutted building, where âthey discovered a great deal of fresh blood on the walls and floor and contacted the police,â according to theÂ detectivesâÂ report. The blood was splattered on the walls and smeared, the report says,Â as though a body had been dragged to where Hleboâs truck had been. Thatâs where officers reportedÂ finding a disembodied ear.
Cops waited for Hlebo at his Los Altos home, where he arrived hours later at 2am. Upon serving a search warrant, police say they found his truckâs cab drenched in blood. The suspect told police he got into a fight with Myrick, but, according to court documents, did not confess to murder.
The San Jose Police Department asks that anyone with information about the case call Sgt. Hamblin or Detective Turner at 408.277.5283. To call in anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at 800.947.7867.
Hlebo, whoâs being held in San JoseâsÂ Main Jail without bail, is scheduled to enter a plea on Feb. 16.