Body of glissading victim recovered
- Written by Rich Magnussen, CCSO
Updated Release 06/25/2017
On Sunday June 25, 2017 at approximately 11:30am, a team of Chelan County Mountain Rescue (CCMR) members and a Chelan County SAR Deputy recovered the body of Benjamin Gore (19yoa) from Aasgard Pass. Gore disappeared into a crevasse on June 4th while glissading down Aasgard Pass. Initial attempts to locate Gore were unsuccessful due to the snow depth and fast running water. The body has been turned over to the Chelan County Coroner’s Office and the family has been notified.
Overdue Hiker Found Deceased on Chelan Butte
- Written by Rich Magnussen, CCSO
On Thursday June 22, 2017 at approximately 1230hrs, RIVERCOM dispatch received a report of an overdue person in the Chelan area. The caller advised that her son was camping somewhere in the Chelan area and they hadn’t heard from him in two days. The caller also advised that the subject’s two dogs had been located by a hiker on the north side of Chelan Butte but her son was not with them.
The subject was identified as Johnathan M. Taylor (31yoa) of Mount Vernon, WA.
A Chelan County Deputy responded to Chelan Butte and located the subject’s vehicle abandoned at the top of Chelan Butte. Deputies searched the area but were unable to locate Taylor. A Chelan County Sheriff’s Office helicopter was called in to assist in the search but was also unable to locate Taylor.
On Friday morning, Chelan County Search and Rescue deputies and members of Chelan County Volunteer Search and Rescue began an extensive ground search of the area. At approximately 1430hrs, searchers located Taylor deceased at the bottom of a steep embankment on the south side of Chelan Butte. It is not known what caused Taylor to fall.
Next of kin has been notified.
Possible Drowning in "Three Fingers" Area of Lake Chelan
On 6/20/17 at approximately 3:22 pm Chelan County Marine Deputies responded to calls of a possible drowning in the area known as “Three Fingers” on Lake Chelan, within the Chelan City limits. Upon further investigation it was learned that a group had rented a boat and were swimming off the back of the boat towards the middle of the lake in approximately 30-40 feet of water.
While swimming one individual from the group started experiencing difficulties. Others from the group attempted to throw him a personal flotation device but were unsuccessful before the he sank beneath the surface. The group of friends was unable to locate the distressed swimmer.
The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office responded with multiple vessels along with the aid of rescue swimmers from Chelan Fire, but were unable to locate the missing swimmer who has been identified as 23 year old Donghoon Lee of Seattle. Donghoon was on break from attending the University of Washington on a Student Visa from South Korea. Rescue workers continued to work into the evening but were unsuccessful in locating Donghoon who is presumed to have drowned.
Chelan County Sheriff’s Office staff were able to work with staff from the South Korean Consulate and make the emergency notification to Donghoon’ s family.
Search and recovery efforts are scheduled to continue at 10:00 am on Wednesday, June 21. Equipment and personnel include three vessels from the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Marine Division, two divers from Chelan County, and seven to eight volunteer divers from Steven’s County along with underwater camera equipment from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office would use this time as a reminder to stay educated on water safety in order for everyone to have a safe and healthy summer while visiting Chelan County.
Sheriff Searching for Sergio Valdes
- Written by Rick Johnson, Chief of patrol, CCSD
The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office is attempting to locate 28 year-old Sergio I. Valdes, who has two outstanding felony warrants for his arrest. On May 29, 2017, Valdes was involved in an altercation at the Slide Waters amusement park in Chelan. He fled the scene and took with him his two youngest children, being 18 months- old Casper, and the other 6 months- old Aviahna. Valdes is believed to still be with his children but their whereabouts are unknown. The children’s mother has not seen them since May 29.
Help us get these children back to their mother and family safely. Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Sergio Valdes or his children are asked to call the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office at 667-6843, or the RiverCom dispatch center at 663-9911
Sheriff Brian Burnett Installed as President of WASPC
Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett was recently installed as the newest President for WASPC, Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chief’s.
WASPC held their annual spring conference at the Spokane Convention Center May 22 – 25, 2017. During which the now Past President, Kennewick Police Chief Ken Hohenberg, officially installed Sheriff Burnett on Wednesday evening.
WASPC currently has 198 Police Chiefs and 39 Sheriff’s as active voting members, and many other associate and affiliate members.
The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs values: a mission-driven association; quality services; honesty and integrity; accountability and responsibility to our members; diversity; public/private partnerships; competent, professional staff; membership involvement and progressive innovation. WASPC offers four types of membership: life, active, associate, and affiliate. Membership within WASPC offers numerous benefits at all levels.
Benefits of WASPC Membership:
• Pro-Law Enforcement Lobbying Efforts on both the State and Federal Levels
• Discounted Registration on WASPC Conferences and Vendor Trade Shows
• Training Opportunities at Discounted Rates
• Get-The-Word-Out Email Notifications
• Access to the WASPC Members-Only portions of the WASPC Website
• Informational Documents
• Law Enforcement Online Forums
• Membership and Agency Directories
Sheriff Burnett will serve a one-year term as President of WASPC. He has previously served one year terms as Vice President and President elect, before serving as a Sheriff at large position. Sheriff Burnett calls the opportunity both an honor and humbling, since his nomination came from his peers of the 38 other elected Sheriffs of the State of Washington. WASPC alternates the President position annually from Sheriff to Chief and back to Sheriff.
Sheriff Burnett stated that he originally became involved with WASPC to help network with other Sheriffs and Chiefs from around the state, in order to form relationships and gain knowledge on best practices in Law Enforcement in order to reduce liability for the taxpayers of Chelan County.
Sheriff Burnett’s term as WASPC President runs from May 2017 – May 2018. Sheriff Burnett is also a current co-chair for the Sex Offender Notification and Registration Committee.
Glissading Accident at Asgaard Pass
- Written by Sergeant Kent Sisson, CCSO
Updated Release 06/05/2017 6:13pm
On Monday June 5th Chelan County Mountain Rescue (CCMR) personnel worked with Sheriff’s Office deputies to attempt to locate the body of Benjamin Gore, the 19-year old subject involved in the glissading accident on Sunday afternoon. A team of five CCMR and one deputy were flown to the top of Asgaard Pass and then descended on foot to the hole in the snow where Gore disappeared. A deputy attached to a belay line was used to access the hole as far as was deemed safe. There was no sign of Gore and the view was obstructed by the high flow of water under the snow. It is estimated the hard snow pack at the scene is approximately 25 to 30 feet deep. The hole has been formed by a waterfall of snow melt runoff which exits the snow above a large rock and then creates the hole in the snow below the rock. At this time, the amount of snow is preventing rescuers from accessing the area below the snow pack. Search and rescue coordinators may need to wait several weeks for an opportunity to make an actual recovery of Gore’s body. The family has been notified and understands the situation.
Original Release 06/04/2017
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports a glissading accident has likely claimed the life of a 19-year old Mercer Island, WA man Saturday afternoon. The incident was initially reported at 5:01pm and occurred below the summit of Asgaard Pass between Colchuck Peak and Dragontail Mountain. A satellite text message had been relayed to the Washington State Department of Emergency Management’s duty officer stating there had been an accident in which a male subject had fallen into a hole and disappeared under the snowpack. GPS coordinates were included in the message, but no other information was available.
Chelan County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue coordinators began notifying mountain rescue members to respond. A Lifeflight medical helicopter was available to assist with an initial check of the coordinates in the Asgaard Pass area. A hoist equipped helicopter was requested from the State. The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office “SnoHawk-10” helicopter assisted with the search and rescue effort.
All attempts to locate the subject in the hole, which runs well below the deep snowpack were unsuccessful. Search efforts were suspended due to darkness at approximately 8:30pm. A search will continue on Monday morning. The victim’s name is being withheld pending next of kin notification.
The initial report is that the 19-year old was with one other subject as they were both attempting to glissade down the snow field from the summit of Asgaard Pass to the glacier area below. Glissading is the act of intentionally descending down a steep slope in a controlled slide on a person’s feet or buttocks. It routinely involves the use of an ice-axe or similar device to assist in controlling the slide. Glissading is a high-risk activity due to the unforeseen dangers (such as holes or crevasses) in the snow path. Inquires reference this medial release can be made to Sergeant Kent Sisson.
Two Search and Rescue Operations Last Weekend
- Written by Jason Mathews, Undersheriff, CCSO
On May 22, 2017 Sheriff Brian Burnett reports on two search and rescue operations during the weekend.
The first was reported on Saturday, May 20 at 2:15pm when a caller reported they were with a group at Cantaloupe Island Crag in the Icicle Drainage and had an injured member in their party. Chelan County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue, Chelan County Volunteer Search and Rescue, Cascade Ambulance, Chelan County Mountain Rescue responded. The patient, 22 year old Lauren Adkins of Redmond had twisted her ankle approximately 1800 vertical feet above the roadway on an extremely steep trail. A ground team of Search and Rescue members and medics were deployed. Medics were able to splint her ankle and she walked out with assistance at approximately 2015 hours. Adkins refused transport to the hospital.
The second was reported on Sunday, May 21 shortly after 11:00am when a caller reported a mountain bike accident on the Xanadu Trail in the Derby Canyon area of Peshastin. 42 year old Jennifer Eichorn sustained a broken leg in the mountain bike accident. Chelan County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue, Chelan County Volunteer Search and Rescue, Cascade Ambulance, and Chelan County Fire District 6 personnel responded to conduct the rescue. Ms. Eichorn was transported by wheeled litter to a Sheriff’s Office UTV outfitted with a carrier, which then took her to a waiting ambulance on the roadway. Eichorn was transported to Central Washington Hospital at approximately 1630 hours.
Two deceased bodies located near Chiwaukum Creek Quarry
- Written by Jason Mathews, Undersheriff, CCSO
On May 24, 2017 autopsies were performed on both of the deceased. The autopsy results did not reveal any trauma or fatal injuries. The Chelan County Chief Deputy Coroner reported further tests and analysis would need to be completed prior to determining a cause of death. The results for that could take up to 10 weeks. The Chief Deputy Coroner and Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Detectives continue to try to identify the two deceased. Positive identification could take up to two more weeks.
On May 24, 2017 Sheriff Brian Burnett reports the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the deaths of two individuals found deceased inside a vehicle adjacent to a campsite near mile post 90 on Highway 2, between Leavenworth and Lake Wenatchee.
On May 23, 2017 shortly after 12:30pm a caller reported they located a full sized pickup truck in a heavily brushed area near the Chiwaukum Creek Rock Quarry. The Rock Quarry is located near mile post 90 on Highway 2, west of Leavenworth. The reporting party did not get close enough to the vehicle to determine if anyone was inside.
The first arriving Deputy located the vehicle with the assistance of the reporting party. The Deputy noticed someone had attempted to conceal the vehicle with a blanket, duct tape, and natural vegetation from the area. The Deputy approached the vehicle and located two deceased subjects sitting in the driver’s seat and front passenger seat. The Deputy requested assistance from our Detective Unit and notified the Chelan County Coroner’s Office. The Detective Unit and Chief Deputy Coroner processed the scene, secured both the deceased and the vehicle. The Coroner’s Office is performing autopsies on both the deceased and is working closely with our Detective’s Unit to determine a cause of death.
At this point in the investigation we are not actively pursuing any suspects, nor do we believe there is a risk to public safety related to this incident. Both the Sheriff’s Office and Coroner’s Office are working to identify the bodies and notify next of kin.
Once the autopsies are completed and a cause of death determined there will be more to follow.
Airsoft Gun Considered a Dangerous Weapon if on School Grounds
- Written by Jason Mathews, Undersheriff, CCSO
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports a Cashmere Middle School student was arrested for pointing what appeared to be a black pistol at another student in the hallway of the Middle School.
On April 26, 2017 shortly before 3:00pm the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Deputy responded to Cashmere Middle School for a weapons violation. The investigation determined two students were bothering each other during a class session. One student asked the other student to move to the other side of the classroom. They continued to engage in bothering and annoying each other until the end of the school day. As the two students passed each other in the hallway one “shoulder bumped” the other. The student who delivered the shoulder bump continued to walk and was approximately 10 feet away when he heard the other student call out his name. The victim student alleged when he turned around the suspect student was pointing what he believed to be a black pistol at him. The victim student said he was fearful and ran away as he yelled, “He has a gun”. The suspect student fled down the hallway, went outside, and got onto a bus.
As the incident occurred a nearby teacher heard the yelling and statement about a gun. The teacher ran to the location and was provided the name of the suspect student and that he ran outside. As the teacher pursued he learned the suspect student got onto a bus. The teacher immediately boarded the bus, located the student, and removed the student from the bus. The suspect student immediately told the teacher he did not have a real pistol, but was in possession of an airsoft gun capable of shooting plastic pellets. It was later confirmed the displayed object, which was black in color with an orange tip, was indeed an airsoft gun with plastic pellets.
The suspect student was booked into Chelan County Juvenile Detention Center for harassment – threats to kill and possessing a dangerous weapon on school facilities.
The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office is working in cooperation with the Cashmere School District to investigate this incident and we want to stress the Cashmere School District is taking this incident very seriously.
Increased Slope Movement Detected on Whispering Ridge
- Written by Sergeant Kent Sisson, CCSO
WHISPERING RIDGE -- The Chelan County Sheriff's Office, as a precautionary measure, has advised two property owners in the Whispering Ridge slide area to leave their homes. The recommendation is based on the most current readings from surface monitoring points at the slide area, which continue to show increasing movement in the slope. Both homes are on Squilchuck Road southwest of Wenatchee, WA.
A geotechnical firm retained by Chelan County has been analyzing data for more than a year from 30 points of reference along the slope. The points were predetermined last year. Late Friday afternoon the geotechnical firm advised Chelan County that the measuring point data is showing increased movement within the Whispering Ridge slide area. This increased rate of movement could potentially cause the “toe,” or base of the slide, to inadvertently affect the flow of a tributary creek located within an adjacent canyon to the slide. That creek flows into Squilchuck Creek which is very the near the two residences contacted in the 5000 block of Squilchuck Road.
This information triggered the notification of the two property owners Friday evening. Those residents and the three other property owners in the 4900 – 5000 blocks of Squilchuck Road had received a general notification of increased slope movement from Chelan County Emergency Management and Chelan County Public Works earlier Friday afternoon.
Surface monitoring point readings taken on March 30th (2017) show the landslide is moving again. The Whispering Ridge slope movement was first reported in March 2016. Initial notifications to property owners along the affected area of Whispering Ridge Drive and the five residences located below - on Squilchuck Road - occurred last spring.
The current monitoring point data indicates that movement has increased within the past couple of weeks. The geotechnical firm has stated that future readings will determine the rate at which the landslide is moving.
Monitoring points also show the roadway at Whispering Ridge Drive is moving at a much slower rate. The roadway remains open only to local traffic and is being monitored closely by Chelan County Public Works and the geotechnical firm to determine if restrictions are needed in the future.
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