Remember the decomposed body found in the trunk of a Cadillac Escalade during LA Gay Pride, 2012?
Mexican media is reporting that the police have arrested the main homicide suspect in connection with the killing of Steve John Simmons, whose body was found on the border of West Hollywood in an advanced stage of decomposition in his half-brother’s car.
The owner of that Escalade, Jacob Ryan Anthonisen, 38 years old, was captured in late October, 2013 in Ensenada by agents of the Mexican State Preventive Police (PEP) as the main suspect in the murder.
He was transferred to Costa Mesa to stand trial for burglary along with fellow suspects Brent Anthony Buckner and Jonathon Thomas White.
Mr. Simmons’ badly decomposed body was discovered on Saturday, June 9, near Willoughby Avenue and North Genesee Avenue in the Fairfax district across the street from West Hollywood.
Steven John Simmons, also known as Steven Simmons Atkin, died of a gunshot wound to the chest and was left in a Cadillac SUV on the WeHo/LA border.
The body was so badly decomposed that the coroner’s office found it difficult to identify the remains at first, indicating that the corpse had been wrapped in the blanket in the back of the Cadillac SUV in which it was found for some time.
Coroner’s records showed that the victim died from a gunshot wound to the chest.
Subsequent investigation by LAPD Homicide detectives discovered that the SUV belonged to Jacob Anthonisen, Mr. Simmons’ stepbrother.
Mr. Anthonisen had last been heard from over a week before the discovery of the corpse.
According to the criminal complaint, the trio attempted to burglarize the home of Michael L. on May 28, 2012, and “secreted a motorcycle belonging to homicide victim Steven A. (Atkins) with the specific intent to obstruct ongoing police investigation into the burglary and attempted a residential robbery and homicide which took place on May 30, 2012, in Costa Mesa.”
Steven John Simmons was last known to have lived in Running Springs, a small community next to Big Bear.
Mr. Anthonisen was a Hollywood/West Hollywood denizen who owned the Peanut Gallery, an art gallery with a presence in Los Angeles and New York.
Many details emerged after journalists took a look into Mr. Anthonisen’s and Mr. Simmons’ past, including both having been ex-cons.
Jacob Anthonisen served time in an Arizona penitentiary for possession of a half-pound of marijuana, gaining release in 2005.
Later that same year, in November, 2007, his step-brother, Steven John Simmons, robbed a Nevada bank using a pistol and was sentenced in 2007 to a 16-year prison term.
He was displeased with the sentence, and appealed the sentencing to the Nevada Supreme Court, where he lost.
He was eligible for parole after serving 60 months of that sentence, so with time off for good behavior and time served, he was released in late 2010 says the Nevada State Department of Corrections’ web site.
Mr. Simmons' step-brother, Jacob Anthonisen, has been missing since at least a week before the body was found in his vehicle.
At the time of his arrest for bank robbery, Mr. Simmons was making a living as a snowboarder in a snow park in Mammoth Lakes, California.
Initially, Los Angeles Police Department Robbery-Homicide Detective Frank Carrillo told WeHo News that the case had been “turned over to another law enforcement agency in Orange County.”
He said that, because the investigation “turned up ties to Costa Mesa, LAPD began to share info with that police force.”
Subsequently, those “ties” became strong enough for Costa Mesa Police Department Homicide detectives to take over.
The ties? “We came to believe as part of our investigation that the killing took place in Costa Mesa,” said Detective Carrillo.
Apparently, Mr. Simmons was shot in the Orange County city and his body transported to the border of West Hollywood and Los Angeles.
Det. Carrillo would not say how much time elapsed between the killing and the transportation of the victim’s body, nor did he have any updates from Costa Mesa PD.
In the LA Times article about the homicide, Mr. Simmons’ mother, Candace Simmons, made note of the Costa Mesa connection with these thoughts.
“Someone who posted on line [that] they were going to be out of town for weekend and was a friend of Steven Simmons’ missing step-brother [Jacob Anthonisen].
“Then was posted at later date they didn’t go out of town, but awoke to someone in his house and he shot them in the chest but they got away.
“The man was said to live in Costa Mesa and made a 911 call to report it.
“Some think it might of been my son, [as] someone had to be with him because [I] can’t see anyone being able to drive from Costa Mesa to WeHo after being shot.”
No charges of homicide have yet come down from the O.C. District Attorney's office, although the burglary and other felony charges have been filed.