By Malaika Fraley
CONTRA COSTA TIMES
MARTINEZ — A Contra Costa judge found enough evidence Friday to try a Martinez man for murder in the death of his 16-year-old son.
Erhan Kayik, 42, is accusing of strangling College Park High School student Volkan Kayik in early July 2007 and burying him in mountainous terrain off a Sierra County highway.
Police became aware of Volkan Kayik’s death after a tip from a close friend of his father. Erhan Kayik had reported the boy missing in June.
The friend, Omer Tutmaz, testified at Kayik’s two-day preliminary hearing that Kayik told him he was choking his son when blood began coming out of his mouth, Deputy District Attorney Colleen Gleason said.
Fearing he’d be in trouble if he let the boy live, he killed him, Tutmaz testified.
It was not revealed in court what father and son were allegedly fighting about.
Kayik told police that the boy “broke his neck on my arm” while he had Volkan in an one-armed headlock during a fight, district attorney inspector Ted Todd testified. Kayik told investigators he buried Volkan in the mountains because of the boy’s love of the outdoors. He also told them that he wished to be buried next to his son when he died, Todd said.
Volkan’s skeletal remains were found Oct. 3 after Kayik led to investigators to the burial site, Martinez police Sgt. Lisa Maloney said. The bones were scattered because animals had unearthed the shallow grave; he was buried in a T-shirt and underpants.
Maloney testified that knowledge of ongoing discord between father and son extended to Children and Family Services, which investigated a report that Kayik hit his son in May 2007.
The social worker assigned to the case reported that Erhan Kayik complained that the son was a frequent liar and would run away from home. The social worker had the father sign a contract that said he would not use physical discipline on his son and had the son sign a contract that said he would behave himself, Maloney said.
In March 2007, police investigated a report from a man at Hidden Lakes Park who said he witnessed Erhan Kayik chasing his son with a steak knife, Maloney said. Volkan often slept in the park — his favorite fishing spot — when he ran away from home.
Kayik and his son emigrated several years ago from Turkey to the United States, where Kayik was self-employed in the rug business.
Kayik, who went through the court proceedings with a Turkish interpreter, appeared melancholy when Judge John Sugiyama held him to answer on one count of murder.
His wife, Volkan’s stepmother, whom Kayik married after his son’s mother died in a traffic accident in Turkey when the boy was 5, left the courthouse in tears.
Reach Malaika Fraley at firstname.lastname@example.org.