VALYERMO, Calif. – A minimum-security inmate who walked away from the Fenner Canyon Conservation Camp was found dead just miles from the camp in Los Angeles County.
At 9:10 p.m. on April 11, CDCR was notified that a hiker found a body near South Fork Campground, which is approximately 15 minutes from Fenner Canyon Conservation Camp. Camp staff positively identified the body as that of inmate Jon Michael Nicholas, who was discovered missing from the camp the morning of April 2 during a routine check. A cause of death has not yet been determined, and there is an ongoing investigation at this time.
Nicholas, 37, was received by CDCR in August 2018 from Los Angeles County to serve a five-year, four-month sentence for assault with a deadly weapon and grand theft auto.
Fenner Canyon Conservation Camp is jointly operated by CDCR and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). The camp was opened in the spring of 1991. It provides six full time fire crews, each containing 17 inmates. The camp’s primary mission is to provide inmate fire crews for fire suppression assignments in Los Angeles, Kern and San Bernardino counties.