On their way to Carey the three stayed overnight at a hotel in Paul. Dan Eliuk would later say that he had noticed the young man who had promised them jobs sign his name as I. Hart on the guest register. That was a little strange, because his name was Arley Latham, a name that would soon be infamous.
The next day Latham had them stop the car near the boundary of Craters of the Moon which had become a national monument just a couple of weeks earlier on June 15. The terrain was black rocks and blacker rocks and crevices with more rocks scattered around. Even so, Latham told Dan Eliuk to stay with the car while he and Kobyluik headed out on foot just a short distance to the ranch which was over a little rise of lava rocks.
With Eliuk waiting behind them the men set out across the rugged landscape, soon disappearing over the ridge. About 15 minutes later Eliuk heard three shots. Not long after Latham came back to get him, saying that Kobyluik had gone on ahead to the ranch and would meet them there. What about the shots? Rabbits, said Latham.
So, Dan and Arley—I’m using first names now because I’m tired typing those Austrian surnames—set out for the ranch. When they got there Fred wasn’t in evidence. Neither was the ranch manager. The two made themselves at home and waited for someone to show up.
The night passed without the arrival of anyone else. Arley seemed unconcerned and suggested a walk in the lavas to Dan. He declined. How about a trip to Fish Lake? Dan wasn’t interested. Dan was interested only in finding a phone, which he did. He called authorities in Hailey and told them about the worrisome disappearance of his partner.
A search party was put together. Arley joined the men in the search for Fred. When they found no sign of the man, Arley suddenly changed his story. He said that Dan had killed Fred. That seemed a little too convenient to the sheriff. He and a deputy questioned Arley vigorously, resulting in another story coming forth.
Arley Latham had planned all along to murder Fred, the man with the cash. When they were out of sight of Dan and the car, he shot Fred in the back. Fred turned toward Arley who shot him in the left eye and a third time in the chest. Now, it should have been a simple thing to lean over and remove the dead man’s wallet. This was Craters of the Moon, though. When Fred fell, he fell into one of thousands of cracks in the lava rock. He fell in such a way as to solidly wedge the wallet between his body and the wall of the crevice.
Latham was able to stretch his arm down into the crack in the lava and rip the dead man’s clothing enough that he got $5 for his efforts. He gave up and kicked some rocks over the body so it would be more difficult to see, then went back to the car to retrieve Dan.
Arley Latham confessed to the sheriff and to the editor of the Arco Advertiser, C.A. Bottolfsen, saying he had planned to kill both of the Austrians and make off with their car and money. They were foreigners. Who would miss them?
Justice was swift. The murder had taken place on July 1. Latham was arrested and confessed late on July 2. He was in prison on August 8, serving a sentence of 25 years to life for the murder of Fred Kobyluik.
But Latham would stay in prison only 16 years, ultimately to be set free by one of the men he had confessed to. C.A. Bottolfsen had become governor. He pardoned Latham not because the justice system had made a mistake, but because Arley Latham was dying from tuberculosis. He was released on the 13th of November 1940 on the recommendation of the prison doctor who said he didn’t have long to live.
The story could end there, all of us assuming that Latham passed away unnoticed shortly after his release. Actually, he married not long after his release, in February 1942. He was soon divorced and remarried in 1948. That marriage lasted until 1958. Latham passed away in Boise in 1963 at the age of 60. What he did for a living during the 23 years after his release is unknown. In the obituary for Latham’s father it mentioned a grandchild. Since Latham was an only child it seems likely the grandchild was the offspring from one of his marriages.
Latham is buried at the Dry Creek Cemetery in Boise. Fred Kobyluik’s body was retrieved from the crevice by the county coroner and buried a short distance away.