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First love, then death: Alta I-80 crash may be kidnap, homicide

By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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UPDATE: 5:15 P.M. FRIDAY, JULY 27: Detectives believe two I-80 deaths came after kidnapping

Newcastle’s Dayton Holden and Dutch Flat’s Devyn Graham appeared to be in love and in a relationship that started in December.

But on Thursday morning, something had gone tragically wrong.

The pickup they were traveling in on Interstate 80 at Alta, 25 miles northeast, of Auburn went off the road and crashed into a tree, killing them both.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office is now saying that Holden is believed to have kidnapped Graham just before the crash.

On Thursday, the Sheriff’s Office had said the fatal crash at 9 a.m. Thursday was a potential kidnapping and homicide.

By today, a new statement indicated that investigator suspicions were strong enough to confirm. Multiple witnesses told detectives that Holden forced his girlfriend, Graham, into the truck, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Holden, 20, was observed speeding from Graham’s Ridge Road home in Dutch Flat. He was then observed driving onto westbound I-80, authorities reported.

Witnesses on the freeway said he drove at an extremely high rate of speed, then abruptly turned toward trees at the side of the freeway, the Sheriff’s Office said.

“He never applied the truck’s brakes,” the Sheriff’s Office said, referring to eyewitness accounts.

Online postings by the two the Journal has seen reveal no hints of a relationship veering off track before Thursday.

Facebook pages for both of the victims show a couple very much in love.

Both Holden and Graham noted that they were in a relationship with each other that started in late December.

Graham, 23, posted a photo on her Facebook page July 10 showing the two close together in an embrace, the two moving in for a kiss.

Graham described herself as a Dutch Flat resident who had attended Chana High School in North Auburn. She worked as a ticket seller at Soda Springs Resort.

 

ORIGINAL REPORT: First love, then death: Alta I-80 crash may be kidnap, homicide

Newcastle’s Dayton Holden and Devyn Graham appeared to be in love and in a relationship that started in December.

But on Thursday morning, something had gone tragically wrong.

The pickup they were traveling in on Interstate 80 at Alta, 25 miles northeast, of Auburn went off the road and crashed into a tree, killing them both.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office is now investigating the fatal crash at 9 a.m. Thursday as something more - a potential kidnapping and homicide.

Online postings by the two the Journal has seen reveal no hints of a relationship veering off track.

Facebook pages for both of the victims show a couple in love. Both Holden and Graham noted that they were in a relationship with each other that started in late December.

Graham, 23, posted a photo on her Facebook page July 10 showing the two close together in an embrace, the two moving in for a kiss.

Graham described herself as a Dutch Flat resident who had attended Chana High School in North Auburn. She worked as a ticket seller at Soda Springs Resort.

Holden, 20, was a Newcastle resident. He had been driving the pickup when it left the roadway while Graham was in the passenger seat.

The Sheriff’s Office said today that the investigation was continuing a probe into a crash that was being considered a possible kidnapping and homicide. But the Sheriff’s Office was releasing no details on the investigation, including why the crash occurred.