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.

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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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

sheriffsmSheriff Brian Burnett reports on 05/31/2016 a Middle School Student reported being contacted by a suspicious male while walking home from school. The male was described as being a Caucasian man between 50 and 60 years old, balding with hair on the sides of his head. The male was driving a small teal colored SUV. The male asked the student if he needed a ride home. The student declined and the male drove away.

The student’s decision to decline the male’s offer may well have prevented a tragedy. We encourage parents to talk with their children and whenever possible have them walk with others and never approach a vehicle they do not recognize. Children should be encouraged to report any suspicious contacts to their parents, school officials, or law enforcement.

Editor note:  When I was a kid we had a special password in case there really was a reason for a stranger to come and get you.

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UPDATE 5/16/16

The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office is releasing the name of the rock climber killed during a fall on Saturday afternoon in the Icicle River drainage area west of Leavenworth. Zulfiya Dokukina (50 years old) of SeaTac was climbing the “Bob’s Crack” route of the “Bob’s Wall” rock climbing area at the time of the accident. Dokukina had completed one route on the wall, and was not secured to any type of rope or other safety device while transitioning to another route. There are no known eyewitnesses to the actual incident, so the exact cause of the fall remains undetermined at this time.

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Sheriff Brian Burnett reports that on Saturday May 14th, 2016 at 2:52pm RIVERCOM dispatch was notified of a fallen climber in the vicinity of the “Bob’s Wall” rock climbing area in the Icicle River drainage west of Leavenworth, WA. It was determined a 50 year old female from Seatac, WA had fallen approximately 80 feet while climbing with others in the area.

Rescuers from the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office High Angle Rope Rescue Team (HARRT) and, Chelan County Mountain Rescue (CCMR) were training nearby and immediately responded to the accident scene. Cascade Medics and Chelan County Volunteer Search and Rescue also responded to assist. CPR was being performed on the fallen climber as responders arrived on scene. However, she did not survive her injuries. The exact cause of the fall is under investigation.

The Sheriff’s Office is withholding the name of the deceased pending next of kin notification.

sheriffsmSheriff Brian Burnett reports that on Sunday May 8th at 10:25am RIVERCOM dispatch was advised of an injured climber on the Snow Creek Wall above the Icicle River drainage southwest of Leavenworth, WA. The climber had reportedly fallen and suffered a fractured right ankle while ascending the second pitch of the “Orbit” route. Two other climbers in the party were attempting to lower the injured subject to the base of the wall.

The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office High Angle Rope Rescue Team (HARRT) and Chelan County Mountain Rescue (CCMR) members responded to the incident along with Chelan County Search & Rescue. When responders arrived at the scene, the injured subject had been successfully lowered to the base of the Snow Creek Wall by his climbing partners. The HARRT team and CCMR members worked together to rig a rope and litter system to move the subject the remainder of the way down to the Snow Lakes Trail. SAR volunteers used a wheeled litter to transport the subject down to the trailhead by 6:51pm. This search & rescue mission took over 8 hours to complete due to the terrain and distance from the trailhead.

The injured subject, Andrei Maksimenka (41yoa) from Sammamish, WA was transported by Cascade Ambulance to Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee for treatment.

sheriffsmUPDATE:

The victim of yesterday’s accident in the Wenatchee River near Dryden has been identified as 53 year old Keith M. Thomas of Shelton. Mr. Thomas and a teenage girl were in a commercial raft operated by Orion River Rafting of Leavenworth when the accident occurred. An autopsy has been scheduled.

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Sheriff Brian Burnett reports a fatality this afternoon on the Wenatchee River near Dryden.

A commercial raft occupied by an adult male in his 50’s, a teenage girl, and the operator flipped over near Dryden at approximately 2:00 p.m. Both the male and female were ejected from the raft.

The female was able to climb back into the raft the male was not. A safety kayaker accompanying the raft attempted to assist the male to shore. Rescuer’s performed CPR on the male for over 30 minutes but were unable to revive him.

Both the male and female were wearing wet suits and personal flotation devices.

sheriffsmSheriff Brian Burnett reports on Saturday April 30th, shortly after 7:30 pm, Chelan County Deputies responded to a Wenatchee area home for a reported shooting. The reporting party said she and her brother were in the backyard at a neighboring house and her brother was struck in the face with debris from the gunshot. She also described several people fleeing a neighboring residence in a passenger vehicle.

Upon arrival Deputies located two victims at the neighboring residence. The two victims, both adult males, were attending a party and were sitting in the backyard when both were struck by pellets from a shotgun. One victim was taken to Central Washington Hospital where he was treated and released for pellet wounds to his face. The second victim was not transported and received a minor injury to his arm from being struck by shotgun pellets.

With help from Wenatchee Police Department, Deputies attempted to call out anyone inside the residence where the shotgun blast originated. No one responded. Not knowing whether someone inside the residence was injured, and as a community care taking function, Deputies and Officers entered into the residence. They did not locate any additional victims, but did discover a 20 gauge shotgun inside the residence and evidence of a shotgun blast traveling from the inside to the outside of the residence. The shotgun blast created a golf ball sized hole in the exterior of the residence in the direction of the neighboring property and Prom party.

Deputies contacted another neighbor who stated she was the caretaker of the abandoned residence. She attempted to remove some people who were no longer meeting their rental agreement requirements. There was an argument over property left inside the residence, and the caretaker stated one of the subjects broke into the abandoned residence, so she went to confront them with a shotgun. While inside the residence, she stated one of the subjects made an aggressive move towards her, so she fired one round from the shotgun. This was the one round that struck the two victims at the neighboring residence. The subjects the caretaker was talking to fled the scene prior to Deputies arrival and have not been located.

Chenoa Prather, a 33 year old female from Wenatchee, who identified herself as the caretaker, was booked into Chelan County Regional Justice Center for two counts of Reckless Endangerment for firing the one shotgun round and striking the unintended victims next door.

The investigation is ongoing and the Sheriff’s Office is attempting to locate the subject that fled.

sheriffsmAs the warm spring weather draws people to our local waters, The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone that our local waters can be dangerous this time of year. The water can be high, swift and cold as mountain snowpack melts, making hypothermia a real risk.

River users are encouraged to take safety precautions when recreating in rivers. Here are a few tips to stay safe:

  • Wear a PFD (personal flotation device).
  • Do not use alcohol or drugs when recreating on the river.
  • Watch children closely when they are on or near any type of water; stay close enough to reach them immediately.

When planning a boating or floating trip:

  • Always tell someone your route and when and where you plan to put in or take out.
  • Never float the river alone.
  • Bring a dry bag with food, water, and warm clothes.

Even the best water enthusiasts can misjudge changing water conditions when boating or swimming in open water. Be prepared at all times by wearing a life jacket – you never know when you’ll be tossed in the water.