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Manteca man arrested on charges of killing his wife
Christopher Carlson

The husband of a woman who went missing in December of 2020 and whose body was later found in an aqueduct near Tracy has been arrested for her murder.

Christopher Carlson, a 44-year-old Manteca resident, was taken into custody on Friday in Lathrop by San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department investigators for the murder of 36-year-old Chenin Carlson – a mother of two – after a lengthy investigation.

Chenin Carlson was set to start a new job at an Amazon warehouse near Tracy, but never reported for her first day at work just over a week before Christmas in 2020. A body was later discovered just over a mile from that warehouse on Dec. 20 that was eventually identified as Carlson.

While her cause of death was not released by authorities, the autopsy determined that she was the victim of a homicide.

Investigators from the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant on the Carlson home on Fern Dell Lane in Manteca just two days after her body was discovered to gather evidence in the case.

When asked at the time by a Sacramento-area news station whether he would be willing to appear on camera to talk about his wife’s disappearance, Christopher Carlson declined but indicated that the family was waiting to see whether she would be coming home.

The investigation into what happened to her was initially headed up by the Manteca Police Department after Chenin Carlson had been reported missing. It wasn’t until her body was discovered and identified that the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office took over the murder investigation.

While Carlson’s body was found in an aqueduct off Chrisman Road near Tracy, her vehicle – a grey 2008 Honda Pilot – was not found nearby. Investigators asked the public for help in locating the car and a tip eventually led to its discovery just outside of Manteca, according to sources familiar with the incident.

Detectives received approval for an arrest warrant for the 44-year-old husband early Friday morning. Deputies from the homicide and special services division began searching for him – discovering him at a home in Lathrop shortly after 12:30 p.m. He was taken into custody without incident.

Carlson is currently being held without bail in the San Joaquin County Jail on charges of second-degree murder. He is scheduled to appear in the Stockton branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court on Monday at 8:30 a.m. for arraignment.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.