The lights are on at a home on Devil’s Ladder Road in the mountain community of Garner Valley.
A new family lives here aware of the tragedy that happened in 2005 when the McGowan family was wiped out seemingly at the hands of District Attorney investigator David McGowan.
But for the first time, neighbors are speaking out about suspicious activity in the area the night before the murders.
It maybe newly uncovered clues never officially released into the 2005 murder-suicide.
“I got a call from my next door neighbor,” said McGowan neighbor Ron Toussaint. “We were told there was a vehicle that was parked…a suspicious vehicle — it was the way she put it, and if they thought I could get a license plate on it.”
What was identified as a van was parked on Tool Box Springs Road.
The Grindle family living next door was the first to notice it.
They say the van was flashing its lights intermittently as if to signal someone.
Whoever was sitting in the van had a clear line of sight to the backyard of the McGowan house.
“I got down to here, my gate. And when I started to pull the pin, the vehicle took off,” Toussaint said. “Turned its light’s off pretty quick.”
Toussaint continued saying the van accelerated and drove out of the area. This is the kind of neighborhood where everybody notices anything out of place, Toussaint also said.
When deputies and D.A. investigators swarmed Devil’s Ladder Road on May 10, 2005, an official crime scene report obtained by News Channel 3 showed that three neighbors informed them of the suspicious van speeding off.
“I tried to tell them what I had seen and he must have scratched something out because you have the information and that was it.
“I was never re-approached,” Toussaint said. “No follow up interview. Not even a phone call.”
We’ve requested an interview with Riverside County District Attorney Rod Pacheco to respond to our recent investigation of the McGowan case.
Their office has not responded.