Student artist killed in McKinleyville

by Peyton Leone and Ricardo Lara Nava

UPDATE May 3: Daniel Rena-Dozier was released on bail from the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on April 19. The preliminary hearing for the case will be held May 25. Seven firearms were found at the residence according to Humboldt County Sherrif’s Office Public Information Specialist Samantha Karges. Dozier was arrested for murder but has since been charged with voluntary manslaughter by the district attorney, and Dozier was also charged with altering a firearm and possession of a silencer, according to the HCSO report and the Felder family.

On April 8, Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call from Daniel Forrest Rena-Dozier, 41,who said his former partner would not leave his home. Authorities found Mia Simone Felder, 30, at the residence with a gunshot wound. She was taken to the local hospital and later died according to a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office report.

“Her family is devastated,” said Felder’s mother, Gloria Felder. 

Felder was a photographer, artist and writer from Suisun City, CA. She graduated from Academy of Arts University San Francisco and the Arts Institute of Chicago. Felder’s art was featured in the fall 2022 “My Black Is” exhibition at Cal Poly Humboldt’s Reese Bullen Gallery. Her work was also displayed at the Morris Graves Museum in Eureka.

Her mother said that she was proud of her Black and Mexican heritage.

Felder was in her second year at College of the Redwoods. She was participating in an internship through College Corps at CPH. Felder volunteered her time at the Boys and Girls Club in Eureka. Chad Brown, clubhouse program director, said that they were planning to hire Felder this month.

“She was very valuable and she made an impression on these kids in a short period of time which says a lot about who she is,” Brown said.

The Felder family said she bravely conquered life’s challenges, never giving up on her greatest challenge, recovery from addiction.

“She wasn’t perfect and she knew it. She always strived to do better, be better. She was beautiful, inside and out. Her family and friends loved her dearly just as she was,” Gloria Felder said.

Her father, Hoarace Felder said, “We want her to be known as a great daughter. As strong, never giving up, passionate about what she was. Believed in what she did.”

In an interview with Sugawater Collextive posted to YouTube in August 2022, Mia Felder spoke about breaking out of the narratives set out for BIPOC artists.

“The act of being creative, the act of being an artist, the act of sharing yourself with the world and being vulnerable, that is one of the most radical things you can do,” she said.

Humboldt County District Attorney did not respond for comment at the time of writing this on May 2.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *