sheriffsmSheriff Brian Burnett reports on Wednesday, July 13 shortly before 10:30 p.m. Chelan County Deputies responded to a robbery in the parking lot of BeeBee Springs rest area in Chelan Falls, Washington. The victim reported he was hit over the head by a male suspect with an AK47 style rifle and then robbed of his wallet, phone, and vehicle. The suspects were last seen fleeing the scene toward Highway 97 in both the suspect’s and victim’s vehicles. The victim was transported by ambulance to Lake Chelan Community Hospital and treated for his injuries.

While conducting the initial interviews Deputies advised surrounding Police agencies of the incident and suspect’s description, to include vehicle descriptions. A short time later Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office called to notify us they located and detained the female suspect, Amber Hernandez, and her vehicle. Hernandez, a 30 year old female, is a resident of Omak, Washington. Hernandez was interviewed by Chelan County Sheriff’s Deputies and later booked into Chelan County Regional Justice Center for Robbery and taking a motor vehicle without permission.

A short time later Okanogan County located the second suspect, Jose A. Lara Mendez, a 25 year old male also from Okanogan County, Washington. Mendez was also interviewed by Chelan County Sheriff’s Deputies and he too was booked in jail for Robbery and taking a motor vehicle without permission.

During the investigation Deputies learned the victim made previous arrangements to meet with Hernandez in Chelan for a date. After two met, the victim got into Hernandez’s vehicle and they drove to BeeBee Springs rest area. While there Hernandez activated the trunk release of her vehicle where Mendez was hiding. Mendez got out of the trunk with the rifle and confronted the victim. The victim was struck in the face with the rifle and then robbed. Both suspects then fled the area toward Okanogan County.

Chelan County Sheriff’s Detectives are still actively working the incident and executing a search warrant to locate the suspected rifle used in the crime. At this point in the investigation we believe all suspects are in custody.

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sheriffsmOn July 11, 2016, The Board of Chelan County Commissioners designated, based on recommendations from the Fire Advisory Board, that road travel and activity restrictions in unincorporated Chelan County be raised to “High”. This action was taken to prevent occurrences of fires which might be caused by recreational, residential, commercial, industrial and other activities in unincorporated Chelan County.

High Fire Hazard Travel and Activity Restrictions are as follows:

1.      Travel Restrictions:

A.   No operation of any motor vehicle off the roadway

B.    Restricts travel on county roads, except for the following:

a.     Bona fide residents;

b.     Landowners and leaseholders to access land to perform work to protect property;

c.     Authorized and official business only;

d.     Access to open public lands for legitimate purpose/use.

2.     Area activity restrictions include:

A.   No fireworks

B.    No outdoor fires. No person shall build, ignite, or maintain any outdoor fire of any kind or character or for any purpose whatsoever, in any High fire hazard area, except by the authority of a written permit from the appropriate fire protection agency. No permit will be required for outdoor fires within habited premises or designated campsites where such fires may be built in a permanent barbeque, portable barbeque, outdoor fireplace, incinerator, or grill. Such a permit shall incorporate such terms and conditions to reasonably safeguard public safety and property.

C.   Restricted open flame devices: No person shall operate or use any device liable to start or cause fire in or upon any high fire hazard area, except for the approved open flame devices listed below or by the authority of a written permit from the appropriate fire protection agency.

a.    Approved open flame devices. Liquid gas stoves or fires, including:

i.         Pressurized gas camp stoves, catalytic heaters, and white gas camp stoves and lanterns.

ii.         Commercially made barbeque devices.

iii.         Stove or fireplace fires completely contained within a home or residence.

iv.         Propane or pressurized white gas warming devices with a shield and base.

v.         An enclosed solid fuel fire that utilizes a wick to distribute the flame.

If anyone has questions about the current restrictions, contact your local fire protection district.

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sheriffsmUpdate 07/02/2016 at 4:00pm

On Saturday July 2, 2016 at approximately 8:45am, a team of Chelan County Mountain Rescue (CCMR) members located the body of Qi He (24yoa) under the snowpack on what is known as Aasgard Pass above Colchuck Lake in the Enchantment Wilderness. Qi He disappeared into a hole in the snow on June 5th while glissading down Aasgard Pass with co-workers. The hole in the snow was created by a waterfall and then became a creek running down the mountain side under the deep snowpack. Initial attempts to locate him were unsuccessful due to the deepness of the hardened snow. A team of CCMR members, and one Sheriff’s Office SAR deputy had pre-planned a recovery search for this morning. The body is in the care of the Chelan County Coroner’s Office pending an autopsy next week. Family members have been notified.

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Update 6/8/16 at 1015 hours

     Sheriff Burnett has identified the missing Aasgard hiker as 24 year old Qi He. Mr. He is a Chinese citizen who was living and working as a Student/Intern in the Seattle area. With assistance from local Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents, the Chinese Embassy and Mr. He’s employer, his family was notified of the incident.

# # #

Update 6/7/16 at 1100 hours

     The active search for the missing hiker on Aasgard Pass has been suspended for now. The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue unit will monitor the weather conditions and snowpack levels with the intention to resume an organized recovery effort in the future.

     The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office has identified the missing hiker as a 24 year old male from the Seattle area. The release of his name is being withheld pending next of kin notification.

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Update 6/6/16 at 1300 hours

     As of 1:00 p.m. today Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit has suspended their search efforts to locate the missing hiker. Ground units located the waterfall hole were the missing hiker entered. Search crews entered approximately 40 feet into the hole, but the missing hiker was not located. The area searched is filled with fast moving water and is covered by several feet of snow and ice. Search crews could not check beyond the 40 feet because of the hazardous conditions and safety concerns. Ground crews believe the hiker was swept a lengthy distance downstream from the location he entered. The stream ultimately enters into Colchuck Lake.    

   Chelan County Search and Rescue crews and Chelan County Detectives are still trying to identify the missing hiker. We currently do not have any updated information on his identity.

Original Media Release June 6, 2016

   On June 5 shortly before 10:00pm Sheriff Brian Burnett reports a group of individuals were glissading down the snow on Aasgard Pass. One of the subjects, who was in front of the others, slid over the edge of a waterfall hole and into rushing water. The current water flow is heavy and leads underneath the snow. The Sheriff’s Office requested assistance from the U.S. Navy, who provide a helicopter with FLIR capabilities to search for the individual. The Navy searched without success and then returned to their base. The Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue unit is currently inserting ground rescue members in an attempt to locate the individual.

   The Sheriff’s Office only has a first name of the missing subject, which has not been verified. The only confirmed information we currently have is the missing subject is a male and approximately 24 years of age. The group had just met each other the previous day.

   “Glissading” is described as sliding down a steep slope of snow or ice with the support of an ice axe.

   Additional information will be released as it is gathered.

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sheriffsm

Update July 1, 2016 at 0900 hours

Sheriff Brian Burnett reports that the victim from yesterday’s shooting has been identified as Manson resident Anna Sanchez.   Preliminary investigation indicates that the shooting was accidental. All known involved individuals were interviewed and no arrests were made. The shooting occurred in a bedroom in a mobile home in the Lakeview Trailer Park on SR 150 in Manson.

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Original story 6-30-16

On June 30, 2016 Sheriff Brian Burnett reports an early morning shooting in Manson, Washington. Shortly after 3:00 a.m. this morning, Chelan County Deputies responded to a residence in Manson for a reported gunshot wound. The victim, a 23 year old female, appeared to have a single gunshot wound to the head and was airlifted to an out of the area hospital. At this point in the investigation the name of the victim is not being released.

Chelan County Detectives are still on scene investigating the incident. It’s early in the investigation and more information will be released as it is gathered.

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sheriffsmSheriff Brian Burnett reports the Board of County Commissioners has enacted a prohibition on the discharge of fireworks in the unincorporated areas of Chelan County effective June 27, 2016, and until further notice.

Sheriff Burnett supports the decision of the Board, based on the severity of fires in recent years, and in order to protect life and property. Although it was a difficult decision for all involved, Sheriff Burnett is hoping the outcome will ensure a safe and happy Fourth of July Weekend for all Chelan County residents and visitors.

CLICK HERE for a COPY of the RESOLUTION

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In anticipation of a safe and happy Independence Day Holiday, Sheriff Brian Burnett would like to share the following information regarding “Operation Dry Water” with the residents of and visitors to Chelan County:

drywater

The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office reminds boaters –
On the road or on the water, you’re going nowhere if you are impaired

Nationwide crackdown on boating under the influence during Operation Dry Water

With the recreational boating season in full swing, the Chelan County Sheriff’s Officeis ramping up its enforcement efforts as part of a national crackdown on boating under the influence. The nationwide awareness and enforcement campaign, Operation Dry Water, is a partnership of the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the U.S. Coast Guard with a mission of putting an end to impaired boating. The goal of Operation Dry Water is to raise awareness about the dangers of boating under the influence and to reduce the number of accidents and deaths attributed to impaired boating.

June 24-26, 2016, just prior to the July 4th holiday, law enforcement nationwide will show zero tolerance for boating under the influence. Boaters can expect to see an increase in the numbers of officers on the water. The goal of all law enforcement involved is to remove impaired operators from the waterways and secure a safe and enjoyable boating experience for those on the water.

"We know there will be a lot of boaters out enjoying the warmer weather and we want boaters to know we will be out making sure the water stays safe for them to enjoy," said Marine Patrol Deputy Ryan Moody. "Just as drinking and driving on the road is illegal and dangerous, we want to emphasize that drinking and boating is equally as dangerous and can lead to equal consequences as well, including arrests, termination of voyage, serious injuries and even death."

Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths in the United States. Whether a person is operating a car on the road, or a boat on the water, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal and can lead to serious consequences for operators and passengers alike. In Washington it is illegal to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol concentration level of .08 or higher– the same as it is to operate a vehicle. If you are found to be impaired and operating a boat, you will be arrested.

Visit operationdrywater.org for more information about boating under the influence.

 

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sheriffsmSheriff Brian Burnett reports that four lost hikers were located this morning near Edwards Peak approximately 7 miles southwest of Leavenworth. The hikers were attempting to hike through the Enchantments but got off trail and became lost. They were identified as Brian Keeley (26) of Grand Rapids, MI; Anthony McAllister (27) of Grand Rapids, MI; Mary Keeley (25) of Austin, TX; and Joseph Smith (28) of San Antonio, TX.

At 7:49pm on Thursday RIVERCOM dispatch center received a call from one of the hikers stating that they were lost. RIVERCOM was able to get cell phone coordinates from the 911 call that plotted just west of Edwards Peak. The hikers stated that they were cold and wet but were not injured. They did not have any overnight gear with them but were able to find some shelter for the night. They were advised to stay put and rescuers would be en route in the morning.

This morning at 6:45am, a Chelan County Sheriff’s Office helicopter (Air 30) responded to the area and located the hikers. Air 30 inserted a deputy into the area and he escorted the hikers to a safe landing zone near Toketie Lake. They were flown to the Leavenworth Fish Hatchery where they were met by a family member.

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sheriffsmSheriff Brian Burnett is proud to announce the release of a new mobile app, MyAlerts, powered by AlertSense, the county’s new emergency alerting service. Chelan County residents and visitors can now receive life-saving emergency alerts and advance warning of severe weather directly on their Android or Apple iOS phone or tablet. You can download the free MyAlerts app from the Google Play Store or the App Store. Below is a list of the type of alerts you can choose to receive.

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.AlertSense.PublicApp

iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/alertsense/id926041285?mt=8

Severe Weather Alerts

Receive advanced warning of severe weather when you or one of your locations is in the direct path of a storm. AlertSense automatically interprets the geographic area affected, and delivers targeted alerts immediately to app users when one of their locations falls within the impacted area.

Public Safety Alerts

Receive emergency alerts from public safety alerting authorities, notifying you of situations that threaten the safety of yourself or those that you care about. Public safety alerts include events such as crime, active shooter, imminent danger, hazardous materials, wildfire, floods and the need for immediate evacuation.

Community Notifications

You can also choose to receive notifications of events in your community that, while not life-threatening emergencies, still impact your daily life and commute, such as road closures and power outages.

This program is strictly voluntary. These alerts are provided free of charge, however standard text messaging rates and other charges may apply.

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sheriffsm

Update 6/8/16 at 1015 hours

     Sheriff Burnett has identified the missing Aasgard hiker as 24 year old Qi He. Mr. He is a Chinese citizen who was living and working as a Student/Intern in the Seattle area. With assistance from local Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents, the Chinese Embassy and Mr. He’s employer, his family was notified of the incident.

********

Update 6/7/16 at 1100 hours

     The active search for the missing hiker on Aasgard Pass has been suspended for now. The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue unit will monitor the weather conditions and snowpack levels with the intention to resume an organized recovery effort in the future.

     The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office has identified the missing hiker as a 24 year old male from the Seattle area. The release of his name is being withheld pending next of kin notification.

********

Update 6/6/16 at 1300 hours

     As of 1:00 p.m. today Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit has suspended their search efforts to locate the missing hiker. Ground units located the waterfall hole were the missing hiker entered. Search crews entered approximately 40 feet into the hole, but the missing hiker was not located. The area searched is filled with fast moving water and is covered by several feet of snow and ice. Search crews could not check beyond the 40 feet because of the hazardous conditions and safety concerns. Ground crews believe the hiker was swept a lengthy distance downstream from the location he entered. The stream ultimately enters into Colchuck Lake.    

   Chelan County Search and Rescue crews and Chelan County Detectives are still trying to identify the missing hiker. We currently do not have any updated information on his identity.

********

On June 5 shortly before 10:00pm Sheriff Brian Burnett reports a group of individuals were glissading down the snow on Asgaard Pass. One of the subjects, who was in front of the others, slid over the edge of a waterfall hole and into rushing water. The current water flow is heavy and leads underneath the snow. The Sheriff’s Office requested assistance from the U.S. Navy, who provide a helicopter with FLIR capabilities to search for the individual. The Navy searched without success and then returned to their base. The Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue unit is currently inserting ground rescue members in an attempt to locate the individual.

The Sheriff’s Office only has a first name of the missing subject, which has not been verified. The only confirmed information we currently have is the missing subject is a male and approximately 24 years of age. The group had just met each other the previous day.

“Glissading” is described as sliding down a steep slope of snow or ice with the support of an ice axe.

Additional information will be released as it is gathered.

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sheriffsmSheriff Brian Burnett reports two overdue climbers were located late Thursday evening near the base of Asgaard Pass in the Colchuck Lake area of west Chelan County. At 3:00pm on Thursday Search & Rescue coordinators received information from family members that a 17 year old male and 19 year old male were overdue returning to the Seattle area after a planned climb of Dragontail Peak. The subjects had driven to the Stuart Lake trailhead late Tuesday evening and planned to camp near Colchuck Lake and then summit the peak on Wednesday. They were expected to return home by late Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Family, friends, and employers had not heard from either subject.

A vehicle belonging to the 17 year old was located at the Stuart Lake trailhead Thursday afternoon. A two-man search team consisting of one Sheriff¡¦s Office SAR deputy and one Chelan County Mountain Rescue member deployed from the trailhead to Colchuck Lake on Thursday evening to conduct an initial check of the area for the subjects. At 11:14pm SAR command was advised by the search team that they had located the two subjects descending Asgaard Pass (which runs between Colchuck Peak and Dragontail).

Christian Junkar (19yoa) and his 17 year old friend (both from Seattle) advised they experienced complications in their climb shortly after beginning the ascent along the "Backbone" route of Dragontail Peak Wednesday morning. At one point, a climbing pack containing food, water, hiking boots and other survival essentials had fallen off rope and was lost. As the subjects continued their climb on Wednesday afternoon, they encountered rain, sleet, cold temperatures, and strong winds further hampered their effort. Both became hypothermic and had little ability to establish a shelter on the mountain. Eventually, the subjects were able to descend down to Asgaard Pass on Thursday morning and eventually make it back to Colchuck Lake where they were contacted by the rescuers that evening. Junkar had minimal feeling in both of his feet due to hypothermia and initial stages of frostbite. He had to descend the mountain in the snow only wearing light climbing shoes due to his boots being in the pack that was lost Wednesday morning. The 17 year old suffered initial frostbite to the fingers on both hands. Both subjects were dehydrated, cold and hungry.

The search and rescue team stabilized the subjects at Colchuck Lake and established a camp with them Thursday night while requesting a helicopter extraction for both on Friday. The Chelan County Sheriff¡¦s Office helicopter "AIR-30" responded early Friday morning and transported both subjects to the Leavenworth Fish Hatchery helipad. They were then taken to Cascade Medical Center via ambulance. Both subjects were treated and released on Friday.

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