Dale Hay lived with his son and girlfriend in the small town of Weldon, California. Weldon is a very small community, with just a population of just shy of 2,700.
On the 3rd of January 2006, Dale’s girlfriend, Dana Dostal, was making her way back from work. She worked in a bank in Lake Isabella, which is around 15 miles (24 km) away from Weldon.
As Dana was making her way along the road, she noticed a pickup truck acting suspiciously. As there were no streetlights, Dana was not able to make out any facial features of the person driving the truck.
Dana says: “I just remember the blaring lights behind me…I couldn’t see, so I slowed down real slow and the truck went around me and kind of slammed on his brakes in front of me. It seemed like a cat and mouse game.”
As Dana was fearing for her safety, she took steps to evade the pickup truck. She thought that she had managed to evade the driver until she pulled into the driveway and spotted the truck again.
Dana quickly walked to the entryway of her home, and when her 9-year-old son Willie opened the gate for her, the driver drove away.
Once she got inside, Dana confined her worries to Dale. As the night went on, she seemed to forget about the encounter, and carried on with her night, as usual, making dinner and doing the laundry.
However, later on, that evening, the driver would return.
This time, Dale went outside. The truck then sped off. Dale said that the lights had been flashing through the windows as if they were taunting us. The truck would not be gone for long, though, as ten minutes later it returned, flashing its lights through the window once more.
Dale became more frustrated and went outside again. Dana was doing the laundry at this time, so she didn’t see Dale leave. Instead, her son had told her that Dale had gone and got into his jeep. It is thought that Dale got in his jeep to follow the truck, as they seemed to have a habit of coming and going.
Dana and Willie started to watch a movie together whilst they waited for Dale to return. But Dana started to get worried when too much of the movie had passed and Dale had not returned home.
Dana and Willie jumped into her car to search for Dale, but they had not gone a mile before they found Dale’s jeep in contact with a fence. Dale had been shot in the face, presumably by the unknown truck driver who had been following Dana earlier that night.
Dale and Dana had no known enemies, and they lived peaceful life. Weldon is a very isolated community, with the nearest city, Bakersfield, being 50 miles away. As the town is so small, it would have been incredibly hard to commit this crime without ever being found.
But the person who committed this crime did just that. To this day there have been no arrests or suspects in Dale’s murder. The case went cold for a few years, but according to the Justice For Dale Hay Facebook page, a detective was assigned to the case in 2018.
The truck is described as being a light-coloured, full-sized, pickup truck with a camper shell that is lighter in colour than the truck. The camper shell may have been removed.
Who was responsible for Dale’s death, and why?
Unsolved, Mystery, Foul Play, Homicide, True Crime