Suspicious Call Prompts Murder Investigation in Joshua Tree, Two Dead

Suspicious Call Prompts Murder Investigation in Joshua Tree, Two Dead

News Staff

On Monday at 8:14 p.m., Sheriff’s Dispatch received a call from a reporting party who stated he was on an open phone line with a possible assault victim. The victim told the reporting party that she was going to meet with the suspect, an ex-boyfriend, in a remote location.

The reporting party was concerned because he could hear the female screaming and he believed she was being assaulted. The reporting party could also hear a male, making statements that he was in possession of a gun.

Dispatch was advised that the subjects were in a dirt field in the area of Yucca Trail and La Contenta Road. When deputies from the Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Station arrived, they saw the victim and suspect in a dirt field standing outside a vehicle. As deputies attempted to contact them, the suspect, identified as 58-year-old Joshua Tree resident Ray Wyatt,  shot the victim in the upper body. The victim has been identified as 23-year-old Joshua Tree resident, Ronda Ebeling.

A deputy involved shooting occurred and the suspect fled the location on foot. Additional deputies arrived on scene, as deputies were searching the desert area for the suspect, they located him near a bush and a second deputy involved shooting occurred.

The suspect was struck by gunfire and pronounced deceased at the scene. Emergency medical personnel transported the victim to a local area hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds. The victim was pronounced deceased at approximately 9:35 pm.

Investigators from the Sheriff’s Specialized Investigations Division – Homicide Detail responded to the location and are currently conducting the investigation. The motive for the shooting is under investigation.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is ur ged to contact Detective Floyd Stone at (909)387-3589. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip website at