FAIRFIELD (CBS13) — A longtime California Highway Patrol sergeant nearing retirement now faces child pornography charges.
Eric Lund, 49, is from Chico, but was arrested in Fairfield at the CHP office where he works.
He lives part of his professional life in the public eye, but in his personal life, neighbors describe him as reclusive, and say he hardly ever came outside.
Part of his job was to talk to the press as a police spokesman, but at home, his neighbors wondered why he said next to nothing to them.
On his former Chico street, the sergeant and his family were known to some as a neighborhood mystery.
“They had a couple children, I guess, but we never saw them outside. I wouldn’t even know what they looked like,” said former neighbor Mary Young.
Vacaville Police had a mystery of their own. Using sophisticated software, a detective was tracking an unknown person downloading child pornography in Suisun, Fairfield and Vacaville.
Police say they traced the downloads to a surprising suspect—Sgt. Lund. They allege he looked at child pornography on and off duty. During a search of his personal car, investigators say they found a hard drive with nearly two-dozen videos.
“Oh my gosh, that’s too bad. I hope he gets the help he needs. People like that need help,” said former neighbor Richard Young.
Neighbors say Lund moved to an upscale neighborhood north of Chico. He’s out on bail, but nobody answered the door at his most recent address.
Police say Lund took a temporary transfer to the Fairfield CHP and would stay in the area during his work week. At age 49, investigators say the sergeant with a six-figure salary was already contemplating retirement.
The CHP released a statement calling the charges and disturbing. They have put Lund on administrative leave and stripped him of his peace officer powers.