Friends holding vigil for murder victim

Woman found dead in Stockton attended Placer High
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Editor
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News of a 23-year-old Stockton woman’s murder has hit hard with some Auburn residents. Tonight, friends of Dalene Carlson plan to gather at the clock tower in Downtown Auburn to hold a candlelight vigil in memory of their friend, who lived in Auburn and attended Placer High for about a year. Carlson’s remains were found Oct. 15 in a cornfield located in the southeastern portion of San Joaquin County close to the city of Escalon near Lone Tree Road, according to Officer Pete Smith, public information officer for the Stockton Police Department. Stockton resident Jason Gilley has been arrested and charged with Carlson’s murder in addition to other charges including felony kidnapping and false imprisonment, Smith said. Gilley was arraigned Monday in San Joaquin County court. He did not enter a plea. Carlson’s family reported her missing after she was last seen at about 1:30 a.m. Aug. 7 with Gilley when the duo was captured on a video camera posted at a Food 4 Less on Hammer Lane in Stockton. Prior to that video, Gilley and Carlson were seen together at Finnegan’s Pub and Grill in Stockton. “They were known to each other and had mutual friends,” Smith said. Smith said investigators are declining to release the cause of death at this time. He added that there is no known motive or one to release, either. “It’s still a very active investigation,” Smith said. Gilley was initially arrested two weeks into the investigation on kidnapping and false imprisonment charges. However, he was released after the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office declined to file charges. Gilley was arrested again for those charges and a homicide charge Oct. 20. Auburn resident Chelsea Nine said she and Carlson were friends when Carlson attended Placer High School for about one year. Carlson later moved to Idaho and eventually Stockton. “I considered her a really good friend,” Nine said. Nine said the two kept in touch even after Carlson moved. Nine and Cathleen Hernandez worked together to organize the vigil tonight at 7. Both girls said they met Carlson during their sophomore year at Placer High School in 2003. The three would take the public bus together to and from school every day. Both girls described Carlson as kind and outgoing. “She wouldn’t hurt a living soul,” Nine said. “She was a beautiful person inside and out.” “She’d make friends with anybody,” Hernandez added. Nine and Hernandez said it’s been difficult to believe that Carlson was a victim of an alleged murder. “She was kind to everybody,” Nine said. “That’s why this is such a shock. It doesn’t make sense that this happened to such an amazing person.” Reach Jenifer Gee at