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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.

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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.

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sheriffsmOn 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.

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sheriffsmUPDATE:

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.

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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.

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sheriffsmSheriff 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.

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sheriffsmWHISPERING 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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sheriffsmOn March 30, 2017 Sheriff Brian Burnett reports two juvenile males were arrested in connection with a residential burglary and theft from an Eagle Rock residence.

On March 25, 2017 shortly after 11:00am Chelan County Deputies responded to a reported burglary in progress at a residence on Anna Lane in the Eagle Rock development. The victim homeowners returned home from a morning outing and found a vehicle parked in their driveway. They then observed two male juveniles fleeing from their residence. One of the homeowners was able to subdue one suspect and ordered him to lay on the ground until Deputies arrived. The second suspect fled the scene on foot, but returned later and turned himself over to the victim homeowners, and then Deputies when they arrived. It was later determined the suspects were brothers and an acquaintance of a male juvenile who lived at the victim residence.

Through the investigation Deputies learned the suspects entered into the residence by prying off a window screen and opening a sliding window. Once inside the residence the two juvenile suspects ransacked the residence and left it in complete disarray with clothes and other items strewn throughout the residence.

The suspect vehicle parked in the victim’s driveway was secured in preparation for a search warrant. A search warrant was authorized and stolen items located inside included electronics (Xbox game, Surface pro, Asus Laptop, and other electronics), men’s and women’s clothing, alcohol, an Amazon Echo, four bank access debit/credit cards and other items. The replacement value of the stolen items was less than $5000.

The two juveniles were booked into Chelan County Juvenile Justice Center for Residential burglary, Theft 2nd degree, possession of a legend drug without a prescription, malicious mischief 3rd degree, and minor in possession of alcohol.

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ssheriffsmSheriff Burnett reports on March 5, 2017 Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Detective made a second arrest related to the 1982 disappearance of Stephen Smith. Sheriff’s Detectives arrested Dawn M. Soles, a 57 year old Leavenworth resident, for 1st degree Murder.

Prior to the July, 1982 disappearance of Mr. Smith, Ms. Soles and Mr. Smith were married. During their marriage they had a child. Ms. Soles and Mr. Smith ultimately divorced prior to Mr. Smith’s disappearance. As a part of their divorce Mr. Smith was granted full custody and Ms. Soles was granted supervised visitation only. Ms. Soles later married Bernard Swaim and they moved to Western Washington. On or just before July 12, 1982 Ms. Soles and Mr. Swaim traveled from Western Washington to Cashmere with a plan and intent to murder Mr. Smith. The investigation showed Ms. Soles and Mr. Swaim planned to get Mr. Smith intoxicated to the point he passed out, and then Mr. Swaim would murder Mr. Smith.

 Utilizing old investigative interviews, creating additional leads, and conducting new interviews the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Detectives were able to piece together critical evidence to establish probable cause to arrest Bernard Swaim and Dawn Soles for the 1982 murder of Mr. Smith.

The Detectives are still conducting follow up interviews and trying to gather more information related the details of Mr. Smith’s disappearance and locating his remains.

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SwaimSheriff Brian Burnett reports on March 3, 2017 detectives arrested 60 year old Bernard Swaim in connection with the 1982 disappearance of Cashmere resident Stephen E. Smith. Bernard Swaim is currently a resident of Sultan, Washington. Mr. Swaim was charged with First Degree Murder.

s smith300On July 18, 1982 30 year old Cashmere resident Stephen E. Smith was reported as a missing person by family members. Mr. Smith was last seen at his home on or about July 12, 1982. Mr. Smith’s car, a 1966 Pontiac Tempest was found abandoned several days after the report of his disappearance, on Dead Man’s Hill road near Dryden, in Chelan County. The initial investigation concluded in 1982 and Mr. Smith has never been located.

In late 2016 Mr. Smith’s disappearance was assigned to detectives for further investigation. Through interviews with multiple people including Mr. Smith’s family members and witnesses, detectives identified Bernard Swaim as a person of interest in Mr. Smith’s disappearance.

If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Stephen E. Smith please call the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office at 509-667-6842 and leave your contact information and a detective will return your call.

You can also go online to our web page, http://www.co.chelan.wa.us/sheriff and use the submit a crime tip tab or message us on Facebook.

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sheriffsmOn January 28, 2017 Sheriff Brian Burnett reports at approximately 0900 hours a local Wenatchee resident, while boating on the Columbia River, located a human body in the shallow water near the shoreline adjacent to BNSF Appleyard. The Chelan County Detective Unit, Chelan County Coroner’s Office and Chelan County Marine Patrol Unit responded to recover the deceased.

The Chelan County Coroner’s Office, Chief Deputy Coroner Earl Crowe, identified the body as 32-year old Rudy Hernandez from Monitor. Hernandez’s family was notified by the Sheriff’s Office and Coroner’s Office as soon as the identification was made. On January 29, 2017 an autopsy was performed and the cause of death was ruled a suicide by drowning.

Hernandez was originally reported as missing in November, 2016. The Sheriff’s Office launched a search that included flying the Wenatchee River by helicopter, the Swift Water Rescue team was deployed and checked a portion of the Wenatchee River to the Sleepy Hollow bridge, a ground search along the banks of the river, and Chelan County Detectives wrote search warrants for social media websites trying to gain any information they could on Hernandez.

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sheriffsm

***** UPDATE *****

On January 19, 2017 Sheriff Burnett reports the fourth at large Othello robbery suspect turned himself into Adams County Jail. The fourth suspect has been identified as 38 year-old Samuel Draper of Entiat, Washington.

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On January 18, 2017 Sheriff Brian Burnett reports the arrest of three Chelan County residents who were suspects in connection with a home invasion robbery that occurred in Othello, Washington.

On January 2, 2017 a home invasion robbery was reported in Othello. The suspects allegedly threatened the occupants of the home with a firearm and physically assaulted one or more of the occupants.

Adams County Sheriff’s Office investigators identified four suspects, all of whom were from the Chelan & Douglas County area.

One suspect, 29 year-old Zane Grissom, was arrested near Entiat on January 6, 2017 by members of the Columbia River Drug Task Force, Wenatchee Police Department, and the U.S. Marshal’s Service.

Arrest warrants were issued by Adams County Superior Court for the remaining three suspects on January 11, 2017. The same day, the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office received information that two of the remaining suspects, 37 year-old Kevin Bradley and 29 year-old Jennifer Ramsey, had been staying in Leavenworth area motels. Chelan County Sheriff’s Office detectives began investigating Bradley and Ramsey’s whereabouts.

On January 14, detectives received information that Bradley and Ramsey were in Cashmere. Chelan County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputies located both suspects in Cashmere and arrested them without incident. Ramsey also had an outstanding warrant for her arrest issued by the Washington Department of Corrections. The fourth suspect remains at large.

This is a great example of multiple agencies working in collaboration to investigate a crime, aggressively pursue the suspects, and make the arrests without incident.

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