Grass Valley, Calif. Nov. 15, 2023 – Today marks the 12th anniversary of when Grass Valley resident Delbert Wilder, 63, was found murdered on his property in 2011. Deputies of the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) initially responded to the property, located in the area of Greenhorn Rd in Grass Valley, for a welfare check and found a lifeless Wilder, deceased from a fatal gunshot wound.
Over the last 12 years, the case has remained under investigation by NCSO, changing detective hands throughout the years. Detective Rory Sonnier is the current lead detective on the case, determined to bring closure to the surviving family.
“I look at these situations as: what would I want if this were my family member or my loved one? I’d want to know that law enforcement is doing everything they can within their power to be able to figure it out and hopefully bring me some kind of closure,” shared Sonnier.
In response, NCSO released an anniversary video of Delbert Wilder to breathe new life into the case. The video, called Murderer Among Us, is part of NCSO’s new monthly cold case docuseries. The video shares insights into Wilder’s life and his murder and is available to watch and share online:
The goal of the video is to keep Wilder’s memory alive and inspire community members who have information to call in their tips, which can be done anonymously. In addition to the video, the case remains under active investigation.
“A lot of what I’ve done on this case is spending countless hours reading the typed and written reports, reviewing handwritten notes, and watching and listening to hours’ worth of interviews that have been conducted previously,” said Sonnier. “We’re also going off of information when it comes in and following up on those leads, but a lot of that is done behind the scenes. Over the years there have been several recent developments as far as the DNA analysis is going, especially given the new techniques that are being utilized forensically. It has given us new information to go on.”
Individuals who have information are encouraged to come forward. Tips may be made anonymously online at https://nevadacountyca.gov/192/Sheriffs-Crime-Tip-Form and by phone at (530) 265-1471.