Larry and Betty Petree found dead in Mojave Desert after longtime musician and wife’s car breaking close to their California home.
A local music legend and his wife were found dead in the Mojave Desert after their car breaking down along a desert road.
The bodies of Larry and Betty Petree were discovered Sunday afternoon east of California City, some 60 miles away from their home. Larry Petree’s body was in the driver’s seat while Betty was found outside the couple’s car, leaning against the rear tire KGET reported.
The Kern County Sheriff’s Office, which did not immediately identify the Petrees, does not suspect criminal activity played a factor in the couple’s death.
The California couple who had been married for over 60 years, are believed to have run out of gas and become stranded, according to the outlet.
Larry Petree, 88, a longtime musician had just performed with the band the Soda Crackers at the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame benefit concert on July 30. He was a beloved musician of the Bakersfield Sound era in the 1950s and played pedal steel guitar.
Beloved local music legend
Kim Hays, a friend of the couple, expressed her shock following the Petrees’ tragic passing with KGET.
‘He always had a smile on his face,’ Hays told the outlet. ‘He was just a sweetheart of a guy and he was always there to help other people. I just can’t believe they’re gone and in such a bizarre fashion.’
Zane Adamo, the fiddler of the Soda Crackers, mourned Larry Petree’s loss on social media.
‘We had the honor of having Larry as our steel guitarist at our first ever show in Bakersfield,’ Adamo said on Facebook.
‘And had the even greater honor of playing with him for his last show a few weeks ago. We send our condolences to the Petree family and the greater Bakersfield Sound community.’
Larry played with the Western Swingsters for decades, passing on offers to play for better-known artists.
Other than to play an occasional gig, he kept his day job at the fire department for thirty years along with his stay home wife, Betty.
The Kern County Sheriff’s Office said it will release the Petrees’ cause of death at ‘a later date.’