On 08/26/2016, the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit responded to the 3700 block of Rio Road, Carmel for a report of buried human remains that had been unearthed during a construction project. The remains were later positively identified as being Remie N. Casillas, a transient that frequented both Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. An autopsy was conducted on Casillas’ remains and the manner of death was determined to be a Homicide.

During the investigation into Casillas’ death, Dale Dean Pierce, was one of several persons of interest identified in this investigation. Pierce was a transient originally from Texas. Pierce had contacts in various states across the United States and was a difficult man to track down due to his lifestyle. During the week of 11/27/17 the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office became aware that Pierce was in the Taos, New Mexico area. Investigators from the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office flew to Taos, New Mexico on 12/03/2017, in an attempt to locate and contact Pierce regarding Casillas’ death.

On 12/04/2017 Monterey County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Investigators,  with the assistance of the Taos, New Mexico Police Department were able to locate Pierce in the parking lot of a grocery store in Taos, New Mexico. Pierce agreed to talk to Investigators at that time. An interview of Pierce was conducted that lasted for a couple of hours. At the conclusion of the interview Pierce confessed to the premeditated murder of Casillas. Pierce further provided Investigators with at least one of the weapons used to commit the murder. Pierce was taken into custody and later lodged into the Taos County Jail for the murder of Casillas. Pierce is currently in custody at the Taos County jail awaiting extradition to Monterey County where he will face murder charges in the death of Casillas.