‘You will miss me when I’m gone’ | Diary entry for woman who died on ranch near Idyllwild reveals details of her private life


The victim’s family found Jodi Newkirk’s diary entry, recorded a phone call with Keith Harper.

MOUNTAIN CENTER, Calif .– We learn about the recent death of a woman at the Bonita Vista Ranch near Idyllwild.

Jodi Newkirk is the second woman lost at the ranch in the past 18 months.

CBS 8 obtained a phone recording of the man who reported to the Riverside Sheriff that Jodi Newkirk died in an accidental ATV rollover two days before Christmas.

A Newkirk relative, who does not want to be identified, recorded Keith Harper’s audio during a phone call, days after Newkirk’s death.

“Jodi was an amazing person. You know, you just had to like it, ”Harper said in the phone conversation.

He apparently didn’t know the call was being recorded.

“She has been a tremendous help here, an amazing person to have on the ranch,” said Harper.

Newkirk, 46, had worked at the Mountain Center ranch since early August as a horse handler.

Harper has acted as the ranch trustee since June 2020, when the owner – former La Jolla millionaire Dia Abrams – mysteriously disappeared. Abrams, 65, has not been found. The Riverside County Sheriff is investigating the case.

“I don’t know if you know, but my fiancee, she disappeared a year and a half ago,” Harper said on the taped phone call. “She disappeared and we took care of her disappearance.”

During the phone call, Harper claimed Newkirk set off on a quad bike just after sunset on December 23, 2021, to cut down a living Christmas tree.

“She wanted to go get a Christmas tree and she took the ATV up the hill and, I don’t know, I don’t know if she turned the wheel wrong, or what’s going on. But the machine turns around and when I find it, it’s been under that machine for probably half an hour, I guess, ”Harper said on the call.

“The only thing I could see was her face and probably six inches from her chest, the rest was under the machine. You know, because it was on her chest, she couldn’t breathe. I turned the machine off. I took it off so I could do CPR on it, ”he said.

The Riverside County Sheriff responded to the Bonita Vista Ranch at 5:39 pm and soon realized the victim had “unexplained injuries“First responders called homicide detectives and secured a crime scene.

“I have to file a complaint against the sheriff’s office because they leave his body for a day and a half in this rain and snow, and it pisses me off,” Harper said in the phone conversation. “I have never seen inhumane treatment like this.”

Detectives questioned Harper. No arrests were made. The results of the autopsy and toxicology tests on Newkirk’s remains are still pending.

At the time of his death, Newkirk was living approximately 10 miles from the Bonita Vista Ranch (located at 58111 Bonita Vista Road in Mountain Center). She was renting a house on Tool Box Springs Road in Garner Valley, a property also owned by Dia Abrams at the time of her disappearance.

As administrator of the Dia Abrams Estate, Harper manages both properties, as well as a third property in the area owned by Abrams.

Family members said Newkirk was paying rent to Harper. She would stay overnight at the Garner Valley house, then ride up to the Bonita Vista Ranch and tend the horses during the day.

Newkirk was having mechanical issues with his red Volvo 2002 sedan, according to family members, so Harper may have driven it on occasion.

Riverside Sheriff’s detectives did not serve a search warrant at the house Newkirk was renting, according to family members, who found a handwritten diary when they packed his things.

“Dear Harper,” Newkirk wrote in the diary weeks before his death and apparently while Harper was out of town.

“I feel like we’ve become a bit on different pages lately,” Newkirk wrote in his diary. “I miss you with your departure but I think things are going to be different when you get back.” I don’t know who will initiate it, but I can feel it a lot. “

Harper, 72, was Newkirk’s boss at the ranch, but her journal entry feels more personal, especially when she writes that Harper goes online and dates women.

“I feel like you are a computer dog like a big class [gigolo]. Either way, you really sleep with as many women as you can and tell all the girls what they want to hear and you basically tell them all the same, ”Newkirk wrote.

“I feel really, really weird about the comment I will always miss in the text a few days ago?” What was it and you never elaborated? Either way, I don’t like the way it sounds. Not at all. It’s weird, ”she wrote.

Parts of Harper’s taped phone conversation also seem personal.

“I wrote this tribute to Jodi. I just wanted to read it to you, ”Harper said during the phone call with the family member.

“God knows we all loved him. Recently she said, “You’ll miss me when I’m gone” and replied, “Why would I miss you my sweet girl with all the pain you bring. And Jodi said, “I only do good for you and when I’m gone you will miss me every day.” Jodi I miss you, and you’re right, I will miss you every day, ”Harper said on the phone call.

Harper declined to comment on the nature of her relationship with Newkirk. By text message, Harper wrote to CBS 8 that he hadn’t been online in years and that he currently does not have a working computer.

Riverside Sheriff’s investigators have not named anyone as a suspect in Jodi Newkirk’s death.

Below is the full transcript of Jodi Newkirk’s “Dear Harper” diary entry:

“Dear Harper, so I know I shouldn’t write this and your [sic] probably not read it anyway. Sometimes it really helps to let off steam. And Boy, I have a ton to say about everything, obviously. With you leaving, it’s very difficult for me to feel good about everything. I need to communicate and in person is always better. I feel like we’ve become a bit on different pages lately. Probably because I have the impression that you are a computer dog like a high class gigilo (sp?). Either way, you really sleep with as many women as you can and tell all the girls what they want to hear and basically tell them the same. I’m listening to you and I feel really, really weird about the comment that I will always miss in the text a few days ago? What was it and you never elaborated? Either way, I don’t like the way that sounds. Not at all. It’s strange. With your departure I miss you but I think things will be different when you get back. I don’t know who will initiate it, but I can feel it a lot. “

WATCH RELATED: Another Woman Lost at Bonita Vista Ranch near Idyllwild


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