Police on May 3 arrested a Modesto man in connection with a May 1 homicide in Oakdale – the same man involved in a head-on crash along Highway 120 that day east of Escalon.
William Schendel, 54, of Modesto was booked at the Stanislaus County Jail on Thursday, May 3, two days after family members found the body of Aimee Eddington-Crawford in her Horseshoe Road home. Schendel was booked on a single count of murder, being held without bail, with a court appearance scheduled for Wednesday, May 9.
The early morning crash that snarled traffic on Highway 120 east of Escalon on Tuesday, May 1 occurred when a car driven by a man later identified as Schendel veered into oncoming traffic. The incident occurred between Steinegul and Seidner roads, about 8:30 a.m. Schendel was later determined to be the driver of the vehicle involved in the crash as well as the homicide suspect. The driver and passenger in the other vehicle, a truck towing a trailer, were not seriously injured in the collision.
Crawford, 40, of Oakdale, was found deceased in her home on Tuesday afternoon, May 1. The scene was in rural Oakdale, in the 13000 block of Horseshoe Road, off Orange Blossom Road.
Emergency responders on the scene of the May 1 vehicle crash indicated there were no signs of evasive action taken prior to the collision, fueling speculation that Schendel may have deliberately driven his car into the oncoming traffic. He had to be extricated from his vehicle and had major injuries to both legs and one arm.
The incident then took a grisly twist as Stanislaus County sheriff’s deputies and emergency personnel were called to the Horseshoe Road home for a report of a deceased adult female found in a home by family members. That call came in shortly after 4 p.m.
Crawford was identified as the victim; Schendel has been identified as her boyfriend.
Authorities said cause of death would not be released until an autopsy was conducted; they also provided no motive for the crime.
Meanwhile, friends and family are trying to come to grips with the loss of the mother of three; friends have organized a fundraiser for the Crawford family and will host it at Ryderz in Oakdale on Friday, May 18. Between 5:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. that day, 20 percent of all sales will go to the family to help defray costs. A Celebration of Life service is also scheduled for Aimee Eddington-Crawford this Friday, May 11 at the Oakdale Rodeo Grounds at 1 p.m.