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.

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.

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.

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.

*****

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.

sheriffsmCHELAN COUNTY- The National Weather Service is forecasting warmer temperatures and possible rain next week – weather conditions that may lead to the formation of hazardous ice jams and flooding along the county’s rivers and streams.

Ice jams are formed as a result of long cold spells that cause portions of rivers and streams to freeze. Fluctuations in temperatures or water levels can break the ice into chunks, which then can jam at obstructions, including bridges or culverts, as they move downstream. Such jams dam water flows, potentially resulting in flooding upstream. If a jam releases suddenly, it then may cause a surge of flooding downstream.

After several weeks of below-freezing temperatures, some areas of Chelan County are expected next week to see temperatures as high as 40 degrees as well as rain showers. Chelan County officials warn residents living close to rivers and streams to have an emergency plan in place in case of potential flooding. In flooding situations, people may become isolated or have to evacuate their homes quickly.

Citizens are asked to consider the following list of dos and don’ts:

DO:

  •    Be prepared before a flood. Have on hand extra food and water as well as an emergency kit that includes a battery-powered radio, flashlight, candles and waterproof matches.
  •    Monitor your property near your home to determine if water accumulations are rising.
  •    If you use a private bridge to access your property, watch for debris and ice buildup at the bridge. If you own a private bridge, you are responsible for the maintenance and repair of that structure.
  •    Have a copy of your flood insurance policy handy (if applicable) in case you need to contact your insurance company.
  •    Call your local officials with any questions or to notify them of any hazards you observe. Chelan County Public Works can be reached at 667-6415. In an emergency situation, call 911.

DON’T:

  •    Do NOT walk or attempt to drive through a flooded area. Water and ice levels may be misleading due to snow accumulations. Follow the rule: Turn Around! Don’t Drown!
  •    Take precautions to protect your home but do NOT try to remove ice from the river or alter river or stream flows. Attempting to alter water flows may inadvertently damage neighboring homes and property downstream.

sheriffsmSheriff Brian Burnett reports that on Friday (12/16/2016) at 10:14am RIVERCOM dispatch received a call reference a vehicle which had just been stolen from a residence in the 3600 block of Ridgeview Blvd in the Sunnyslope area of Chelan County.

The victim stated her nephew - who has been visiting from out of state - suddenly took her silver Jeep Liberty without permission as she was preparing to leave the residence to run errands. The victim’s purse and dog were in the vehicle at the time it was taken. The victim never gave her nephew permission to drive the vehicle and did not know where he would be heading.

Local law enforcement agencies began actively searching for the vehicle. At 10:36am a Department of Transportation employee driving on Highway 97-A observed the stolen Jeep Liberty parked on the shoulder of the highway facing northbound. He notified State Patrol dispatch who relayed the information to RIVERCOM. The WDOT employee then observed the vehicle begin traveling northbound behind him on the highway toward Chelan. North county deputies responded and eventually encountered the vehicle near milepost 222 about six miles north of Entiat.

As the deputies attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver made a u-turn and began traveling back southbound. The driver failed to yield for several miles after the two pursuing deputies had activated lights and sirens. Eventually, the driver pulled to the right shoulder of the highway at the Earthquake Point turnout (milepost 118). Anthony Guentzel (26yoa) of Hibbing, Minnesota then refused to exit the vehicle or cooperate with deputies. While resisting the efforts of deputies attempting to take him into custody, Guentzel was tased. At that point, he was handcuffed and eventually transported to the Chelan County Regional Jail for booking on charges of: Theft of a Motor Vehicle; Attempted Eluding of a Pursuing Police Vehicle; Resisting Arrest; and No Valid Operator’s License.

The victim’s dog and purse were located in the Jeep Liberty. The dog is fine and was released the owner.

sheriffsmWENATCHEE, WA – The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and the Lake Wenatchee Recreation Club, is offering a free Snowmobile Safety Certification Class to young snowmobilers in December.

The free class is designed for youth ages 12 to 16 but is open to new riders of all ages. The class is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 10th at the Lake Wenatchee Recreation Club, 14400 Chiwawa Loop Rd, Leavenworth, WA. Lunch will be provided for the participants by the Lake Wenatchee Rec. Club.

The key to safe snowmobiling lies in the operator’s knowledge, capabilities, limitations and understanding of the machine. It is recommended that snowmobilers be aware of weather and trail conditions and the safety of other winter sports enthusiasts, while respecting wildlife and the environment. The snowmobile safety course training includes:

  • Basic snowmobile maintenance.
  • Survival skills and dealing with emergencies, including avalanche awareness.
  • The proper clothing and equipment for winter weather.
  • Hand signals while riding and other basic skills.
  • Properly preparing for a ride.
  • Riding skills test

 

Registration deadline is December 9th. A parent or guardian will need to sign a consent form for each child registered and must sign them out at the conclusion of the class. For more information or to register, contact Rich Magnussen with the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office at (509) 667-6508 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

sheriffsmOn November 18, 2016 at 6:45 p.m. a Cashmere resident reported the theft of his 2010 Ford pickup. A Chelan County Deputy located the stolen truck near the intersection of Hay Canyon Road and U.S. Highway 2. The male driver fled the pickup, crossed Highway 2 and ran toward the Wenatchee River bank. Deputies located the male hiding near the edge of the river. The male ignored deputies commands and jumped into the Wenatchee River. Deputies tried to convince the man to swim back to shore but he refused, and was last seen near the middle of the river.

Swiftwater Rescue personnel from Leavenworth Fire, Cascade Ambulance, and CCSO Volunteer Services along with personnel from the Cashmere Fire Department, Ballard Ambulance, and CCSO were unable to locate the male. The initial search was suspended at 9:00 p.m. due to darkness.

Searchers located the male on Saturday morning at 11:00 a.m. The male has been identified as 30 year old Daniel Posey of Wenatchee. Mr. Posey was deceased.

sheriffsmSheriff Brian Burnett reports on the night of 10/20/2016 a shooting occurred at a commercial marijuana operation in the 400 block of Grubb Road near Malaga after an employee confronted two Hispanic males attempting to steal marijuana. When confronted by the employee the suspects were carrying plastic totes full of marijuana buds.

One of the suspects engaged the employee by firing a 9mm handgun. The employee who was armed returned fire. The suspects fled and the employee was not injured.

CCSO Deputies and WSP Troopers responded and searched the area. No blood was located and the suspects were not located. CCSO Detectives have taken over the investigation and are working to identify the suspects.

Any person with information is encouraged to call our office at 509-667-6851, or online by using our Submit a Tip form. http://www.co.chelan.wa.us/sheriff/forms/submit-a-tip

sheriffsmSheriff Brian Burnett reports on 09/17/2016 a Chelan area resident reported the burglary of his home located on Sunset Ridge Lane near Chelan. The burglary included the theft of numerous items of personal property including several firearms. Subsequent investigation led detectives to contact Chelan area resident Robert Bell, who was arrested for the burglary and theft.

Detectives located Mr. Bell and a female at a mini-storage unit near the Chelan airport. A search warrant was later served at the mini-storage and property believed to have been stolen by Mr. Bell was recovered.

On 10/07/2016 the Chelan County Regional SWAT team served a search warrant in the 2200 block of Wapato Lake Road near Mason. CCSO Detectives searched the property and located a firearm stolen during the Sunset Ridge Lane burglary. Chelan County Detectives executed another Search Warrant in the Chelan area on 10/07/2016 and located more property believed to have been stolen by Mr. Bell.

Detectives along with Yakima County law enforcement agencies executed a search warrant at a residence near Grainger, Washington on Tuesday October 11, 2016. A firearm stolen during the Sunset Ridge Lane burglary was recovered.

Chelan County Detectives are currently working to identify owners of the recovered property. The investigation has identified several victims in the Chelan, Manson, and Orondo areas, successfully clearing multiple burglary investigations.