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2000 Roseville cold case suspect in Placer County jail

Michael Elijah Adams charged with California murder after Oregon arrest
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Federally funded cold-case cops in Placer County have put the collar on a much-traveled rail rider in the 2000 slaying of a transient in Roseville. Michael Elijah Adams, 44, was under arrest in Oregon's Lane County on charges stemming from a fight when the Placer County Cold Case Unit initiated an effort to bring him back to California to face charges related to the death of another freight-train rider, 46-year-old John Semler Owens. Owens' body was found on a gravel service road Jan. 21, 2000, next to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks, near PFE Road. Adams waived extradition to California, which cleared the way for Placer County and Roseville detectives to take custody of Adams and transport him to Placer County to face charges. The District Attorney's Office, which is part of the Placer County Cold Case Unit with the Sheriff's Office, filed a felony complaint against Adams late last month charging him with murder and the suspect was arraigned Monday in Placer Superior Court. Adams entered a plea of not guilty and is being held without bail. His next court date is July 18. Earlier this month, police in Roseville had said detectives used DNA evidence to link Adams, also known as Michael Allen Thompson and Crazy Mike, to the unsolved 2000 homicide. Adams had told a deputy in Oregon that he was an “enforcer” with a train hopping gang known as the Freight Train Riders of America, Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Scott Schanaker said in an earlier interview. Adams is also wanted on a second murder charge in El Paso, Texas, which also involves a homeless person. In that case, a 51-year-old woman reported last seen with Adams, was discovered beaten to death in a vacant lot last March 15. - Gus Thomson