Tragic Discovery Made in California Creek Bed One Day After Car Crashed Into Nearby Bridge

On November 21, in San Luis Obispo, California, a 24-year-old man lost control of his vehicle and struck a curb, street sign and bridge pier. What followed has left families heartbroken and lacking a sense of community as part of the story.

Police responded to the first accident at around 5:35 p.m. and believe speeding was likely a factor in the accident, but alcohol impairment was not.

Authorities filed a collision report, the car was towed away and the incident appeared to be resolved – but the situation grew darker the next day.

On the afternoon of November 22, a call was made to report a dead dog in the creek below the bridge where the lone vehicle collision had occurred. The authorities could not reach the dog’s owners and therefore arranged for animal control to process the find.


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That evening, two missing persons reports were received by the San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD) for 39-year-old Matthew Chachere and his girlfriend, 36-year-old Jennifer Besser – the owners of the dead dog that had been found in the Bach, although this connection was not made immediately.

The couple’s home was empty, and police found no evidence of foul play. According to the San Luis Obispo Tribune, it was a police officer who looked at the missing persons’ photos submitted by the family and noticed that the dog in the photos looked like the dog they found in the creek and was able to to put the parts together .

A search of the creek bed revealed the bodies of Chachere and Besser hidden deep in the undergrowth. Police now believe the couple and their dog were victims of the earlier car accident and are investigating whether or not the driver can be held responsible.

“Criminal charges will be determined based on the evidence and intelligence obtained at the conclusion of the investigation,” the SLOPD said in a statement, according to a statement shared by the City of San Luis Obispo.

Chachere, a former head coach of the Ceres High School football team, had also worked as a coach at Grace M. Davis High School. Grace M. Davis head coach and athletic director Timmy Garcia said the loss was a huge loss to the community.

“He was our defensive coordinator on the 10-0 championship team in 2021,” Garcia told KXTV. “Just completely devastated to hear that this happened to him and his girlfriend. I’m at a loss for words, I just can’t believe it to be honest.

“Matt is a great person with great character and integrity. He was an outstanding role model for our young men who we play here on and off the pitch.

“You don’t want this to happen to anyone, but that…this is happening to such a wonderful man…is upsetting. He will be greatly missed and we only hope that Matt and Jennifer’s families find strength and courage to get through this difficult time.”


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Chachere and Besser had recently moved to the area because they both had jobs at the E. & J. Gallo winery.

Many people still have questions and find the entire incident questionable at best. How could someone not realize they’d hit two people and a dog? How could investigators not notice all three bodies or suspect anything when the dog’s body was found?

A woman posing as Chachere’s sister agreed in a public media release that not only was the whole thing heartbreaking, but that something seemed seriously wrong.

“I’m still in shock and trying to grieve,” wrote Nicole Chachere Ricketts. “Our family is absolutely heartbroken and devastated. This whole whole investigation makes no sense! We are so clueless and confused.

“The SLO community is great. I hope we can help solve this case.”

Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she has devoted herself to writing and is particularly fond of animal-related subjects.

As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn’t know exactly how. She graduated from California State Polytechnic University with an MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, and wrote her thesis on metacognitive development and literacy transfer in freshmen.
She has a range of interests that keep her busy including trying new recipes, enjoying the great outdoors, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, observing people, developing curriculum and writing biographies. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she had blue-green hair.
In addition to a book in the works on productive communication strategies, Amanda writes and illustrates a number of children’s books with her husband Edward.


Austin, Texas

Spoken languages

English and a little German

Topics of expertise

Faith, Animals, Cooking Tragic Discovery Made in California Creek Bed One Day After Car Crashed Into Nearby Bridge

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